After nixing the washroom facilities and pedestrian lighting in the Diamond Jubilee Park 2016 construction tender in an Aug. 4 special meeting, Wetaskiwin city council has decided to re-include the lighting for the 2016 project, which will bring that portion of the project over budget.
At council’s Aug. 15 meeting, councillors approved the motion to have administration investigate another tender for the electrical components needed to finish the project and single-source acquisition of the lighting fixtures.
Coun. Joe Branco opposed the motion. He wanted to cancel the lighting and electrical portion of the project for this year and re-tender next year.
The City of Wetaskiwin will purchase the light fixtures needed for the pedestrian lighting for approximately $61,597.
During the meeting many councillors expressed concerns with how the project was coming together.
Coun. Wayne Neilson says earlier this year council was recommended to trim the budget and the costs of the lighting would be taken care of with funds left over from the Main Street project. “At the time a question was raised about the costs of the fixtures and what I understand from that conversation is the cost of the fixtures were being addressed elsewhere in terms of underspent monies on the Main Street project.”
“And now … The lighting which at the time we were told would be around $31,000 and potentially covered elsewhere is now $61,000,” he added.
The original budget for the Diamond Jubilee Park project was $620,000. Council awarded the tender to SG landscaping which came in at $747,608.64 minus the washroom facility and the pedestrian lighting, putting the award price at $544,746.24.
City manager Dave Burgess says the component of the project being re-tendered is the electrical provisions, as the quote from the general contractor was too high. “It was not supported by council.”
Multiple councillors directed their frustrations at WSP, an engineering consulting firm.
“This project is running amuck,” said Coun. Patricia MacQuarrie .
“I’d like a new tender to go out ASAP. I’d like to see WSP eat that cost,” said Neilson.
WSP is doing the re-tender at no cost to the city.
Burgess says there were come concerns of council with the level of service being provided but going forward he is happier with where WSP’s focus is.
Council was also concerned the lighting and power to the amphitheater was not covered by electrical, leaving the structure with no power. However, Burgess says it is part of the electrical re-tender. “It will be seamless with the re-tender.”
The second option presented to council — waiting until 2017 to re-tender — had councillors debating on whether or not pedestrian lighting was even needed for the park.
“I think the lighting is an important part of this project,” said Coun. June Boyda, mentioning safety.
Coun. Bert Horvey questioned what time council expected people to be using the park. “Is there a need for lighting?”
“We’re talking about winter climate, and there will be people walking at night,” said Mayor Bill Elliot.
Council could not wait until its September meeting to talk about the re-tender and Burgess says a special meeting will be held.
“I want solid numbers the next time we sit down at this table,” said Neilson.