Facing delays and budget increases, Cumberland wants to get the equipment staged for its new wastewater plant as soon as possible.
At the March 14 meeting, project co-ordinator Paul Nash suggested council could authorize the project team at Maple Reinders to go ahead with purchasing equipment to expedite construction and firm up the costs. While waiting longer would provide greater accuracy in costing, it would likely raise the amount needed.
As with many capital projects for local governments, the wastewater plant has faced some higher than anticipated costs and delays to the schedule.
“It’s not great news,” Coun. Jesse Ketler, who cited her concerns with borrowing for the large-scale project. “We know that we’re going to have to pay this one way or the other.”
For council, the decision to authorize the contractor to spend the money would reduce the chance of ever pricier equipment at a later date.
“The sooner we build stuff, the cheaper it is,” Coun. Sean Sullivan said.
Mayor Leslie Baird agreed, saying, “The sooner off we get started, the better off we are.”
In his report to council, Nash noted that the current budget estimate for the first phase of the project, which will bring the village into regulatory compliance, is $9.52 million plus a contingency of $1.16 million. This $10.68 million exceeds the current amount budgeted of $9.7 million. He noted an increase for that discrepancy was not yet being sought, as estimates will become more accurate once more equipment is sourced and a preliminary design is completed in April.
For now, council approved a motion to authorize the expenditure of the remaining $5,960,000 of the currently authorized project budget of $9.7 million for the upgrade project, as well as an increase to the Maple Reinders contract by $5,960,000, from $1.7 million to $7,660,000 to proceed with purchasing and construction. Again, Nash’s report notes any future increase to the project budget will need to be taken into account as an increase to the authorized amount of the Maple Reinders contract.