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'Dire need' for new wastewater plant sees council redirect resources to Crescent View project

The Crescent View Wastewater Lift Station (CVWLS) has become one of the most important infrastructure items city hall has built in years, which is why officials are redirecting all resources toward the project.
city hall clock tower glass
The glass face of the city hall clock tower.

The Crescent View Wastewater Lift Station (CVWLS) has become one of the most important infrastructure items city hall has built in years, which is why officials are redirecting all resources toward the project.

One step city administration is taking is transferring $4,025,000 from this year’s WW4 pumphouses and reservoirs account to the S4 lift stations account, considering the new Crescent View venue is expected to cost over $66 million. 

Moreover, this project has taken priority over the refurbishment or expansion of the South Hill Reservoir Pump House, which has been paused. In April, council approved a motion to support two Crescent View project-related change orders worth $220,760. 

In June, council approved a motion to apply for funding to the federal Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF). If successful, the funding will cover 40 per cent — or $39,846,000 — of the Crescent View project. 

City hall’s initial budget allocation was $26,655,000, and with the postponement of the South Hill project, that left a shortfall of $9,241,000.

The second step city administration has taken is directly awarding a contract for the supply of two wastewater classifiers to Claro Environmental Technologies for $222,027.60; the budget allotment is $272,000. City hall plans to pull the money from the S3 wastewater treatment plant account in this year’s budget.

One classifier will replace the existing unit at the wastewater treatment plant’s grit building until the new Crescent View headworks venue is constructed, while the municipality will store the second classifier. The city will then move and install both classifiers at the new headworks building once it’s constructed; the devices will work in parallel.

During its Nov. 27 regular meeting, city council gave unanimous approval to both initiatives that city administration is pursuing for the CVWLS project. 

Bevan Harlton, director of operations, wrote in his report that consultant AECOM and the former department of engineering services recommended that the city proceed with procuring both classifiers from Claro for several reasons, including:

  • Ordering two units saves more than $23,020 on the second classifier 
  • Ordering two devices removes the potential for future price increases on the second unit 
  • Ordering two units ensures the municipality acquires two identical classifiers should Claro augment or discontinue the standard model specifications before the city constructs the headworks building

While the purchasing policy normally says officials must seek several quotes, Harlton wrote that sections 3.1d and 5.5 of the policy say direct awards are possible if only one vendor can supply the compatible good or service. Moreover, council must approve direct award contracts exceeding $150,000. 

Harlton told council that purchasing the two clarifiers won’t extend the service life of the current wastewater treatment plant; instead, replacing them is required for the new grit building.

“This component needs to be online (and working) regardless of Crescent View being online,” he said, noting the two clarifiers should arrive in Q2 of 2024. 

Several members of council applauded the purchases, saying it’s a good idea to buy the clarifiers now to combat future inflation.

Meanwhile, with the transfer of the $4 million, Harlton said that amount would help with the Crescent View project but wouldn’t cover all the expenses. City administration is still waiting to hear whether its DMAF application was successful. 

“We know that the Crescent View Lift Station is a priority and is in dire need and we’re trying to find funding for that,” said Coun. Crystal Froese, “so here’s hoping that this (DMAF money) actually comes through because really, without the funding, I don’t how we’re going to accomplish that.” 

The next regular council meeting is Monday, Dec. 4. 

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