Cardiff roads project costs extra for Highlands East
by Sue Tiffin
The following are brief reports of items discussed during a Sept. 10 meeting of Highlands East council.
The township will spend an additional $15,000 to $18,000 on a roads project in Cardiff after shouldering work was not included in the original tender contract.
Earl Covert, roads superintendent, offered three options to council: Norway Asphalt (Drains Brows. Ltd.) offered a quote of approximately $85,000 to $90,000 to do the work; municipal staff could complete the work in-house with the hire of a grade-all at an approximate cost of $15,000 to $18,000, or the road shouldering would not be completed. Funds would be used from the working capital reserve for the first two options, as the shouldering project was not included in the 2019 budget.
“I feel strongly that it should be shouldered,” said Covert. “As you can see there’s quite a difference for us to do it, or for a contractor to do it.”
“Are you going to be able to find time,” asked Mayor Dave Burton. Earlier in the meeting, Covert had reported to council that the roads department has been overworked.
“For that amount of money,” said Covert.
Councillor Cam McKenzie questioned why the amount wasn’t included in the original contract, and said that if it was included in the original contract, that might have reduced the cost of tendering it separately.
“We used an engineer to provide us with an estimate,” said Shannon Hunter, CAO. “I can’t answer why shouldering wasn’t included, it wasn’t. It’s not the only issue that we’ve come across and we do have some expenditures that will be coming forward in a report.” She agreed that the “best-case scenario” was to assign staff to the project.
Councillor Cam McKenzie then asked if the responsibility of the oversight laid with the consultant, but Hunter noted that council had accepted the initial contract.
“So the responsibility is back on us then for accepting something that wasn’t up to standard?” asked McKenzie.
“I can’t answer the question that it wasn’t up to standard but I can answer that we accepted what they provided us,” said Hunter.
“As soon as it started, the people living there knew it wasn’t the right decision, and they aren’t engineers,” said McKenzie. “Obviously we’ve learned a lesson but it’s costing us time and money.”
Council directed staff to complete the work in-house.
Bylaw infractions uncovered
During the past summer, a total of 154 building bylaw infractions were found by students during the septic maintenance program.
“The great majority of these being bunkies,” said Laurie Devolin, chief building official.
She noted potentially 500 infractions have been found during the septic maintenance program in the past, and that hiring additional staff or increasing hours of part-time staff to help work on the problem over the winter would help “get a handle” on the infractions.
“It is a concern and problem, and I do want to bring it to your attention, and I do want to tackle it,” Devolin said.
Councillor Cam McKenzie said he assumed there would be a priority system set to deal with highest-priority issues first. Devolin agreed.
“Some of them, they’ve been there for quite some time, some of them are new, some of them are very recent, some of them are very recent but they’ve tried to make them look old so that I wouldn’t notice them,” she said. “It’s very challenging.”
Swimming season statistics
The Cardiff pool was opened from July 1 to Aug. 24 this season, with a total attendance of 1,224 and 29 pool memberships sold this summer, according to a report by Stewart Hurd, environmental supervisor. Swimming lessons saw 22 to 32 registrants at the pool, seven to 20 registrants at Wilbermere beach and 19 to 23 registrants in Gooderham.