The City of Estevan has received some positive news with regards to its Provincial Disaster Assistance Program claim.
City manager Jim Puffalt told The Mercury Monday that they have received permission to proceed with repairing a handful of areas that were damaged by last year’s flooding, notably Fourth Avenue south, Woodlawn Avenue south and Kensington Avenue north.
Puffalt said PDAP has agreed to pay for whatever the tendered cost of the work will be. Previously PDAP had said they would pay for the reclamation work based on the provincial rates. Puffalt said the City continued to work with the organization and were able to work out a scenario that will pay for the tendered amount as they argued prices in Estevan are higher than the provincial average.
“We were very happy,” Puffalt said of learning about PDAP’s decision. “We were leery of tendered prices knowing that here in Estevan that the prices are probably the highest in the province. We were a little concerned about having provincial rates when realistically they are not applicable to us.
“It takes a lot of pressure off because we were really concerned about getting into Fourth Avenue south and then the tenders come and we only have half the money from the province to pay for it. It takes a lot of pressure off and the uncertainty of getting work done.”
Puffalt said the initial response from PDAP, which used the provincial rates, came back at roughly $2.1 million. Although the work has not been tendered, Puffalt estimated it could be a $2 million difference when the local rates are applied.
“We made an application to them of all the damages, then the (City) engineer and their adjuster sat down and went through what they believed were damages caused by the floods. Then they put a value on it and that was the figure we were a little bit leery about,” he said. “They clearly specified that if there is something unusual, let us know, but otherwise this is the work we have approved, get the work done and if it costs more it costs more.”
Puffalt said a major focus in 2012 will be Kensington Avenue north and Fourth Avenue south.
In the case of Fourth Avenue, a large portion of the road was covered by water during the floods. The City is looking at a number of different options including building the road higher to handle water in the ditches.
“The pavement there was not in the greatest shape in the first place but certainly sitting under water for three to four weeks didn’t help it at all.”
Puffalt said Kensington Avenue north was damaged by the overland flooding, which had built up in the ditches and undermined the sides of the roads.
“People couldn’t even drive up there it was so wet. We had a contractor say ‘I’ll go in there and do some work so I can at least get up the road because from all the rains that road was just a mess.”
Puffalt said the road will have to be rebuilt and they plan to take the hill down a touch to improve the sightlines for drivers. They also plan to pave to the back entrance of the Estevan Comprehensive School.