Terrace’s newly-sworn in city council is going to be asked to make major decisions affecting increasingly expensive road, sewer and water projects as it prepares to consider spending plans for the next five years.
Topping the list about to be presented to council is the need for a complete reconstruction of Graham Ave. on the Southside from Eby St. to Kenney St. to fix what city staffers are calling “critical sewer deficiencies”.
“Due to the size of this project it is the only major road reconstruction scheduled to take place in 2023,” indicates a city report.
So far, city staffers have pencilled in $1.6 million for the work — $1 million of that is a portion of a major provincial grant provided the city in 2019 and again in 2020 for capital projects and $600,000 from federal gas tax rebates sent each year to the city.
The estimated cost, however, has yet to be tested by putting the project out to tender.
Being removed completely from the city’s plans or being deferred for a year are two projects in the Horseshoe scheduled for last year but which were shelved when the city could not find anyone to bid on one job and when a big came in far over the estimate for the second job.
City staffers wanted to move one of those projects, rebuilding the 4600 Block of Scott, to this year but are to recommend deferring it again to 2024.
Shelved altogether is a surface and underground works reconstruction of Labelle Ave., which is just one block long.
“The complexity level of the Labelle reconstruction is too high for the interest and availability of the current market,” reads the city report.
The Scott Ave. project was estimated at $820,000 but the only bid to come in was for $1.23 million. There were no bids for Labelle which was estimated at $800,000.
To allow for the Graham Ave. project, city staffers will also be recommending moving two other road reconstruction projects planned for this year — 5300 Mountain Vista to 2025 and 4800 Davis to 2026.
Not so far affected is a project estimated to cost $600,000 to revamp the entrance to city hall nor $750,000 as part of a multi-year project to replace the arena’s refrigeration plant. Money for both will come from the major provincial grant the city received in 2019 and 2020.
All of the above comes as the city needs to refresh its five-year financial plan, a required document stemming from provincial legislation.
Although financial plans have to be for five years, they are not a fixed document and local governments routinely make adjustments as the fifth year of a plan ends and a new first year begins.
New projects to be considered for 2023 include removing the aging metallic canopy over the sidewalk on the 4600 Block of Lakelse Ave. downtown, pursuing safety and other requirements so that CN trains will no longer need to blow their whistles approaching the Frank St. level crossing, replacing gym equipment at the aquatic centre and installing new tiling in the sportsplex change rooms.
The Lakelse canopy removal project is estimated to cost $500,000 with the money to come from the major provincial grant for capital spending received in 2019 and 2010.
Council will be formally presented with recommendations at a committee of the whole meeting Dec. 14.
That will also set in motion opportunities for comment by Terrace residents.