Cumberland council postpones dam reconstruction

Reconstruction of the Stevens Lake Dam has been deferred to 2014 by Cumberland council.

Reconstruction of the Stevens Lake Dam has been deferred to 2014 by Cumberland council.

Village manager of operations Rob Crisfield told council Monday the Village received two offers to complete designs for the new dam, and both suggested deferring construction.

“The firms recommended deferral; they don’t think there’s enough time to actually complete the design (in time for construction in 2013),” said Crisfield.

EBA Engineering and Golder Associates submitted proposals to design the new dam — which along with Cumberland No. 2 Dam, has been deemed unsafe in the event of a earthquake.

Though both consulting firms proposed about the same cost for the design phase of the project, Crisfield noted EBA Engineering has local experience, including past experience with Cumberland’s dams.

He also noted the estimated costs for the Stevens Lake Dam reconstruction design were higher than what was budgeted; the estimated cost sits at about $70,000 instead $52,000 as budgeted, plus the consulting firms noted additional costs of up to $15,000 could be necessary for environmental regulatory review.

Council voted to award the dam design job to EBA Engineering, which is expected to provide a detailed cost estimate for construction.

Coun. Roger Kishi questioned whether EBA Engineering’s construction estimate may be higher than the $560,000 budgeted for the project, noting the sizeable difference in costs for the design phase of the project.

He added the next step is to move forward with the design and see what the construction estimate is, noting early 2014 may be a good time to put the construction part of the project out to tender, as construction companies may be less likely to have their work for the year lined up at that time.

Cumberland has also budgeted $450,000 to reconstruct the Cumberland No. 2 dam, and $290,000 to build an ultraviolet water treatment system. The No. 2 dam project is slated for 2014 and the water treatment project is scheduled for 2015.

***

Cumberland council gave final approval Monday to a phased development agreement for a 33-lot residential development on Carlisle Lane.

Council adopted bylaws to rezone the nearly 10-acre property — bordered by Carlisle Lane, 10th Street and Ulverston Avenue — and amend the Official Community Plan for the proposed development.

Owner Dale Querin, who has been building in the Comox Valley for over 20 years, plans to build the homes with his sons Brandon and Joel.

“We’re pretty excited,” says Dale of the news. “We’re trying to build all the houses ourselves and sort of keep the theme the same so that all the houses kind of flow.”

The project is expected to be completed in three phases and include coach houses and secondary suites, plus a park area and trails.

Dale expects the project to take about five years and he says he’s hoping to start work on the site in the fall.

***

Cumberland residents will receive one year’s worth of mock water bills using consumption based water rates, before they receive a real one.

The first mock bill is set to come out in August and use water meter readings from the second quarter meter reading period (April, May and June).

Rates for the mock bills were set in June, and Village staff were working to bring bylaws before council for consideration before the end of this year — allowing consumption-based water billing to be officially implemented early in 2014.

But, council voted Monday to extend the time for mock billing, and to have staff bring forward a water rate bylaw for consideration before Mar. 31, 2014 instead. This new date would mean a water rate bylaw could be passed before the second quarter meter reading happens in 2014, and mock bills will continue until then.

According to a report from Village CAO Sundance Topham, council previously directed staff to develop a wastewater (sewer) rate structure based off a percentage of the new water rate structure. He asked for direction from council, and his written report noted staff could bring forward options for a sewer rate at the Sept. 9 council meeting.

But, council voted to delay any more work on sewer rate structures “until further notice,” citing the need to fully focus on water rates for the time being.

***

The deadline for public input on Cumberland’s draft 2013 revision of its Official Community Plan has been extended from Aug. 9 to Sept. 15.

An online feedback form is posted on the Village of Cumberland’s website at www.cumberland.ca.

Council voted to delay the time period for feedback during Stage 3 of the engagement strategy, with Mayor Leslie Baird noting the draft document is large and people need time to read through it before making comments.

The draft OCP was expected to be discussed at the Sept. 30 Village Hall meeting, but the extension for feedback means the document won’t likely be ready for discussion by that Village Hall meeting.

***

Cumberland council will hold a committee of the whole meeting July 29, to discuss how best to utilize funds from the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre host community agreement.

According to the agreement, Cumberland will receive $300,000 per year for the duration of the 20-year agreement.

The meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers, and will be open to the public unless council decides to close a portion of it.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

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