Tantramar Engineer Jon Eppell says he’s hoping to make a recommendation to town council next week on awarding the final contract for the third phase of the Lorne Street flood control project.
He made the comment today after Town Clerk Donna Beal opened the four tenders submitted for digging a big retention pond behind the public gardens on Charles Street as well as for installing culverts and digging ditches to drain the stormwater into the Tantramar River.
The project will include access roads that will double as hiking trails similar to the ones around the first retention pond south of St. James Street.
The local firm, Beale and Inch, submitted the lowest bid of $5,608,516.62 while the three remaining ones were each above $7 million: Birch Hill Construction of Moncton, $7,322,098.88; Gulf Operators of Saint John, $7,514,371.15 and Dexter Construction of Bedford, N.S., $7,913,150.00
Eppell said he’ll review the bids before submitting his recommendation for council’s approval. He added there will be a public presentation on the details of Phase III before council is asked to vote on it and the town plans to make information available on its website.
Costs exceed estimates
The Beale and Inch bid was $169,519.62 higher than the engineer’s estimate of $5,439,000.
Phase III includes construction of a smaller retention pond in the old Sackville quarry that the town purchased from Mt. A. for $1 in November.
Beale and Inch also submitted the lowest bid of $461,744.44 for the quarry project and Sackville town council awarded that contract last fall.
If the company’s latest bid for construction of the retention pond is accepted without any modifications, it would mean that the total construction cost of Phase III would reach $6,070,264.06 significantly higher than the $5,731,712 that has been budgeted for it.
In addition, the Moncton engineering firm Englobe has been awarded a $557,750 contract to design and oversee the project bringing total costs to $6,628,014.06.
The federal and provincial governments have agreed to pay about 75% of the budgeted costs, while the town pays the rest.
According to figures from Acting Treasurer Michael Beal, the total available funds for the project, including the town’s contribution, are $6,061,105 leaving a shortfall of $566,905.