Originally set up to run for 15 weeks, the lagoon pumping officially stopped on Oct. 3. The extra time for the emergency project, along with increased contractor costs, is expected to cost more than initially allocated.
Based on the expenditures wastewater effluent discharge costs in 2016, Council approved an additional $700,000 in the 2017 budget be allocated for this.
On Oct. 23, Council received a report from public works which stated the cost of the lagoon pumping would actually be about $1,710,000, excluding GST.
The funds for the increased cost were reallocated from the Town’s utility reserve. The reserve is estimated to have a year-end balance of $1,850,000 before the reallocation.
According to the report issued to Council, the projects needed to increase resources to adhere to both provincial and federal requirements. The cause of the increased resources include: limits and restrictions imposed through our Temporary Diversion License, lagoon approval toting, and a long, hot summer.
Town administration staff believe there will be further expenditures in 2018 and 2019 for wastewater effluent discharge. The continued cost will be required until the regional wastewater pipeline is operational.
Administration will propose numbers to Council during the budget deliberations for 2018 and 2019.
Due to the increased cost of the lagoon release being reallocated from the utilities reserve, Coun. Megan Chernoff Hanson wanted to ensure how much would remain in the reserve account.
“It sounds like it will completely deplete our reserve,” she said.
Chief Administrative Officer Betty Osmond explained that it would not completely deplete the account. The $700,000 Council originally budgeted for would not be taken out twice.
“The utility reserve would go down to just under $1-million after the reallocation,” Osmond explained.
According to the report, it was hard to estimate a cost of the project, due to the “emergency nature” of the project.