Three District of Houston projects have been given approval in advance of the District’s formal budget adoption for this year so that planning and ordering of material can take place to ensure each can be completed in a timely fashion.
Approval came from the District of Houston council at its Feb. 15 meeting.
Copeland to be widened
Planned last year but which did not proceed because it was advanced too late for last year’s construction season, council has given early approval for a two-fold project — replacing watermains and building a dedicated right-hand turning lane from Copeland to Hwy16.
But newly prepared estimates place the cost at far more than what was envisioned last year.
“This will improve traffic movement for Copeland Avenue traffic accessing Hwy16 and better accommodate the increased traffic coming from the Tim Hortons and traffic expected for the new gas station under construction,” District of Houston chief administrative officer Michael Dewar wrote in a memo to council.
“It is recommended that tendering of the project occur in early 2022 in order to get competitive bids for the 2022 construction season.”
Originally, just the right hand turn lane was to be built but council accepted the recommendation to replace underground civic works now approaching 60 years old.
“If the widening project proceeds without the watermain replacement, the District could run the risk of having to replace the watermain in the future if a failure occurs,” former District of Houston public works manager Chris Lawrence pointed out in a May 2021 memo to council.
And that would mean having to dig up right hand turn lane.
But the work to be done now carries an estimate in excess of what was sketched out last year when the widening cost was pegged at $143,500, the watermain replacement at $71,107 and sanitary work at $17,956 for a price tag of $232,563.
This year, however, District staffers came to council with an updated figure of $320,000.
Leisure facility heat pump replacement
The facility’s pool is now being heated by the back up boiler, something that’s expensive and inefficient and council has given the thumbs up for a heat pump replacement.
With the help of a $100,840 grant from BC Hydro staffers are to start arranging details for the project which has a total cost of $437,947.
Early approval will help account for “longer order lead times than usual as a result of the pandemic, and the other supply chain issues we are currently faced with,” reads a memo from District of Houston chief administrative officer Michael Dewar to council.
There’s also a deadline to use the BC Hydro grant and timing the project with the annual facility maintenance shutdown will avoid an extended downtime.
As with the Copeland project, original cost estimates have increased.
“The cost was updated to include costs associated with installation as well as the purchase of equipment,” said Dewar.
Arena surface needs repair
The concrete surface of the arena floor along the west side of the arena boards is cracked and needs repairs, Dewar has told council.
That wear is creating a safety hazard as it is affecting the stability of the arena boards, he said.
“In order to minimize delays and impact to our seasonal ice users, repair work must be completed within the summer month,” Dewar added.
Repair costs have been estimated at $135,000 but exactly what is needed and exact cost won’t be known until the ice is taken out and the boards removed.