Cumberland is in the midst of a large project to upgrade its wastewater treatment lagoon. Image, Clear Facts — Wastewater Treatment & Environment video

Cumberland chooses new wastewater plant contractors

Many of the design details to be settled over next three months

  • Mar. 23, 2021 12:00 a.m.

Cumberland’s new wastewater treatment just took a big step forward, as council chose the successful bidders for different aspects of the project.

At the March 22 meeting, council approved motions to accept proposals for the three aspects of overseeing the $9.7 million project.

They accepted a bid from Colliers Project Leaders to be the project manager and authorized staff to work on a contract with an initial value not to exceed $235,000. As well, council accepted a bid from Integrated Sustainability Consultants as project engineer, with a contract not to exceed $1,026,467.69. Finally, they picked Maple Reinders Constructors to serve as construction manager, with a contract not to exceed $1.5 million. None of the figures include GST.

Last fall, council agreed to change the procurement process from a design-build model to construction management for the project. Under the former, a single contractor handles design and construction, while under the construction management model, different parts of the project can be handled separately through separate requests for proposals. Most of the funding for the new plant is coming from federal and provincial sources, and for the municipal portion, the village is borrowing rather than using reserve funds.

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For each part, Cumberland received more than one bidder, though in the case of the project engineer, the alternative bid arrived late and did not qualify. However, as liquid waste management planning project coordinator Paul Nash told council, all of the applicants met the procurement criteria for the project.

Council members were pleased to see the project in a position to move forward. With around thirty per cent of the budget already allocated prior to construction though, they about how the project’s budget might be affected, especially by construction costs.

“My concerns are around costs,” said Coun. Jesse Ketler. “We don’t have the funds to deal with overruns.”

Nash responded that the nature of the project required less of the “heavy” construction costs, such as concrete, that typically drive up the price.

“Those parts of construction are the areas that have gone up the most,” he said.

Another point he raised was that under the new procurement process, they have more flexibility to refine some of the details, adding there are certain non-regulatory components that could be scaled back, such as features of the building on site, or could be put off to the future — in other words, elements that would not affect the wastewater plant operation.

“We have to stay within the general scope,” he added.

Nash said the plan now is to work out the details of the design over the next three months, during which he time he should gather more information surrounding the costs.

“Now, we’d like to get moving with the project,” he said.

mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.comLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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