Facing delayed or unanticipated costs, Cumberland has approved adding some funds to its 2021 budget.
Manager of operations Rob Crisfield outlined the situation for the village at the council meeting on July 26, highlighting the four items requiring additional expenditures associated with some large-scale projects.
One was the village’s wastewater administrative penalty and wastewater quality data review cost worth $11,745. This is to be funded through sewer financial stabilization reserves. The village worked with a consultant to review the language of the provincial order as well as the data the village received from its lab. The consultant found some inconsistencies in the data, and an internal audit later revealed a software error. The village only received this work invoice in 2021 though and did not have money in the budget.
“We have an invoice that was submitted this year that really encompassed work that took place last year,” he said.
The second item is to cover the costs of an alternative building code solution for the Victory Building project on Dunsmuir Avenue that would require a mid-block fire hydrant.
“Even the building code specialist said that it’s a ridiculous code requirement,” Crisfield said.
This would mean losing two parking stalls on Dunsmuir Avenue, which the village wants to avoid. The $6,500 cannot be covered in the existing budget and would be funded from general financial stabilization reserve. This will be to cover costs for the building code specialist from Vancouver to help find an alternative for Cumberland over the hydrant requirement.
As well, staff have found that to complete a development cost charge (DCC) bylaw it will cost an additional $25,000. The money is to come from DCC reserves. The project started two years ago, but with increased workloads and new projects such as the Bevan industrial lands, the completion has been delayed and funding has been exhausted.
Finally, the village is facing a few minor costs for the wastewater treatment upgrade that are not eligible to be funded through grants covering the construction, such as legal or land appraisal costs. The estimated $25,000 is to come from the sewer and water infrastructure asset replacement reserve, though staff anticipate there could be additional ineligible costs as the project moves ahead.
“We anticipate there’s going to be more costs,” Crisfield said. “There’s some things we’ve got to tidy up.”
Coun. Jesse Ketler did have questions about the wastewater project in light of changes to the procurement method and what this could mean for the other costs that might arise. Crisfield said there is a contingency built into the budget for the construction management model the village is using, adding the project has to fall within the budget value as part of the procurement process.
Council passed a motion to approve the funding arrangements.
“I think all four projects are very important to the village,” Mayor Leslie Baird said.