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 $15000 to $18000 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 $85000 to $90000 to do the work; municipal staff could complete the work in-house with the hire of a grade-all at an approximate cost of $15000 to $18000 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.

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.”

The Cardiff pool was opened from July 1 to Aug. 24 this season with a total attendance of 1224 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.