Osoyoos Town Hall. (File photo)
By Vanessa Broadbent
All Coun. CJ Rhodes had to say after council voted to award a $4.6 million contract to build a new main sewage lift station was “wow.”
“Wow is right,” mayor Sue McKortoff responded. “We don’t spend that kind of money often.”
The decision made at council’s open meeting on April 15 will allow Penticton-based Cumming Construction to start building the station at Kingfisher Avenue and 89th Street.
Collecting and pumping 95 per cent of all raw sewage to the town’s treatment facility in the Golf Course area, the lift station is the most important in town, director of Operational Services Jim Dinwoodie told council.
The current main lift station was constructed in 1978 and its structural and mechanical components have reached or exceeded their service life, he said.
A 2014 assessment from KWL Consultants also claimed the main lift station was capacity deficient and in need of being replaced.
“During peak times in the summer of 2018 the existing main lift station was operating at capacity for extended periods of time, causing increased wear on equipment nearing the end of its service life,” Dinwoodie said.
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Reconstructing the main lift station is expected to total $4,605,000. The town is borrowing $3.5 million, and the remainder will be taken mostly from the town’s sewer reserve funding.
The project will include newer energy-efficient pumps and see an increased sewer pumping capacity, expected to meet the town’s needs for the next 40 years.
Cumming Construction’s nearly $4.9 million proposal was the lowest of five received, but cost wasn’t the only factor considered, TRUE Consulting engineer Daniel Grant said in a report to the town.
“Cumming’s clear and concise proposal, initial cost, previous experiences with both the town and TRUE, and recorded history of successful project execution lead to this decision,” he said.
A few negotiated changes, including removing a fourth pump, lowered the contract value to just over $4.6 million, remaining in the town’s budget.
Coun. Brian Harvey addressed the future impact about removing the fourth pump.
The pump isn’t necessary, at least not now, Dinwoodie said.
“We probably won’t have capacity issues until the year 2034 … It is a very expensive item.”
Mayor Sue McKortoff asked if construction will begin immediately.
The contractor will start purchasing equipment and do some exploratory work over the summer, Dinwoodie responded, but construction likely won’t begin until the fall, after Labour Day, and the nearby Jack Shaw splash park will be open during the summer.
The project is expected to be completed by the end of April 2020.