Sandy Casselman
LJI Journalist

MORRISBURG – The pumping station for the new Dutch Meadows subdivision is moving forward with the tender going out in February.

Municipality of South Dundas politicians gave staff the go ahead for the project during a special council meeting on Jan. 25.

“Council decided to go ahead with the tender using the revised estimate from EVB Engineering,” Mayor Steven Byvelds said. “They brought the cost estimate from $1.4-million to $1.1-million and we have added a few provisional items like the generator and metering chamber. They will draft up the documents and get the tender out in February.”

The Jan. 25 meeting was held in response to EVB Engineering’s presentation during the regular Jan. 18 council meeting last week. During that presentation, Francois Lafleur presented council with a plan for a pumping station that would accommodate not only the Dutch Meadows project, but future growth as well. The cost estimate came in at roughly $1.4-million.

In 2018, South Dundas council agreed to cover the cost of the pumping station for the new subdivision. At that time, the estimated cost was roughly $823,939.

Lafleur attributed the increase in cost to the fact that “the construction industry in Eastern Ontario has undergone unprecedented inflation since 2018, due to what contractors are calling a ‘price correction’ in the industry. This price increase has been exacerbated by the 2020 COVID pandemic, particularly on vertical infrastructure projects like this one.” He also noted that several cost-altering variables had been unknown at the time of the first estimate.

With council members clearly opposed to the enormous cost increase, Lafleur and municipal staff were instructed to change the plan to accommodate the Dutch Meadows project only. This updated plan was presented to council on Jan. 25.

South Dundas CAO Shannon Geraghty, who has been working closely with EVB Engineering since the outset of the project, said the goal is to get the project out for tender as soon as possible so that the pumping station completion date might align with the subdivision’s construction date of August or September.

“We’re relatively hopeful that we can meet those deadlines, but with COVID and other issues we don’t know if that will play a factor,” Geraghty told council.