Housing project costs higher than expected
By Chad Ingram
Published Nov. 17 2016
The affordable housing complex under construction in Minden – to be called Pine Grove Place – is going to cost Minden Hills township more than expected.
At their Nov. 10 commitee-of-the-whole meeting Minden Hills councillors agreed the township would pay some $122000 for the installation of a water and sewer line to the 12-unit building being constructed near the S.G. Memorial Arena off of Parkside Street.
It was a cost that had not been anticipated by the municipality.
“There was no indication that the sewer and water was our responsibility” environmental operations and property manager Ivan Ingram told councillors.
A project of the Kawartha Lakes Haliburton Housing Corporation construction on the building got underway earlier this year.
The corporation is putting $1 million of federal and provincial funding towards the project and Minden Hills along with the donation of 1.5 acres of land and the waiving of various building and planning fees agreed to about $300000 worth of work.
That work included the extension of Parkside Street the removal of a quonset hut and skateboarding equipment from the building site and the realignment of a trail that ran through the property.
Ingram said two companies submitted bids for the installation of the six-inch mains but that only one met the criteria.
Staff had budgeted $60000 for the installation with the housing corporation contributing $15000 for a total of $75000. However because the specifications changed from a two-inch water line and a four-inch sewer line to a six-inch water and sewer main the cost will be nearly $50000 more than anticipated.
The difference will be transferred from the township’s water and wastewater special project reserve fund.
“It’s a significant increase” said Ingram. “I’ve recommended we go ahead. These people need water and sewer.”
Ingram suggested there needed to be some changes in the way projects with the housing corporation are handled.
“We’ve put ourselves in a bit of a tight spot on this one” he said.
“I don’t see why this couldn’t have been tendered three or four months ago” said Reeve Brent Devolin.
Ingram said the township had only discovered the water and sewer main was its responsibility in September.
“It was convenient for the particular contractor to take advantage of it” he said.
Councillor Pam Sayne said she was becoming concerned about unforeseen costs adding up for the municipality.
“I’m losing track of where we are now with our budget” Sayne said. “We’re incrementally chipping away at things we didn’t budget for.”
Devolin pointed out the township was saving money in other areas such as $35000 savings on the purchase of a truck which would help to offset the project’s costs.
The township ended up paying $150000 for the relocation of the quonset hut that had been at the building site to its new location near the ball diamonds while $80000 had been budgeted for the purpose.
The largest part of that bill nearly $75000 was for the pouring of a new engineered concrete slab. There will also be a storage room extension for $25000.
Occupancy for the building is scheduled for 2017.