Paradise has to move power pole before work on new lift station can begin

By Mark Squibb/March 17, 2023

During last week’s public meeting, Paradise council approved an expense related to the construction of the new Lift Station No. 10, an expense that was anticipated but not budgeted for by council.

“The approved design and plans for the new lift station site requires a pole to be relocated to avoid construction interference, future site access, and future servicing,” explained councillor Deborah Quilty, who added Newfoundland Power recently quoted the work at $32,540 including HST.

Quilty said the work is a requirement for the construction and funds will be taken out of the Town’s $12 million 2023 Lift Station No. 10 capital budget.

The work is not unexpected, as relocation of the pole was identified in the design plans.

Council approved the motion unanimously.

Councillor Larry Vaters noted the decision will not impact any companies contracted to build the lift station, and that working directly with Newfoundland Power was the most cost-effective option, and does not carry with it any redesign costs or contract change orders.

Councillor Glen Carew said he personally felt that the cost should have been captured in the scope of work in the Town’s request for proposals (RFP).

“I did vote ‘Yes,’ because it was work that was previously identified, but I don’t believe previously budgeted for,” said Carew.

Councillor Patrick Martin reiterated Vaters’ point that the work was planned and that working with Newfoundland Power was the most cost-efficient way of doing it.

Councillor Elizabeth Laurie asked why, if working with Newfoundland Power was the most cost-efficient way of doing business, as stated by staff and other councillors, Carew would have preferred the work be included in the original RFP.

“From my perspective, of course, these are things that should be budgeted,” said Carew. “And in the memo that was sent around to council on this particular matter, it was essentially clarified that we knew the work had to be done, but we kept it strategically, and the word used was strategically, out of the scope of work, and of course it was an item that wasn’t budgeted for as part of the original work, the original RFP. So, it wasn’t captured in that original budget. And yes, I understand that there are markups, or potential markups from contractors in order to perform the work, but this would live within a budget that was already established.”

Laurie allowed it was an interesting point.

The lift station is being constructed to replace one at the corner of Topsail Road and St. Thomas Line that blew a gasket in 2019, spraying one nearby home with raw sewage and costing the Town over $1.5 million as crews were called in to work around the clock to trudge sewage away.

Council was shocked earlier this fall when the price of construction, originally estimated at around $12.6 million, ballooned to over $23 million, due to inflation.

Though Vaters and Carew voted against approval of the project due to the massive price increase, the rest of council voted in favour, claiming it was the only viable option as the lift station needs to be replaced.

The Town had budgeted roughly $12 million for the project, plus had access to some $6 million in government funding. Council will borrow the rest of the funds needed for the project.

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