Council dips into 2019 budget

Work will soon begin on Whitesand Drive Stormwater Improvements following a decision by Yorkton Council on how to pay for the tender cost that came in half a million dollars higher than had been budgeted.

At the Oct. 9, 2018 regular Council meeting, Administration was directed to bring back funding options for the remaining $500, 000 needed to award the contract for the Whitesand Drive Stormwater Improvements to the lone bidder Wyonzek Bros. Const. Ltd, René Richard, Director of Engineering and Asset Management with the City, explained at the regular meeting of Council Monday.

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In terms of options the City’s Rainy Day Fund was initially looked to for the $500,000.

“Our Director of Finance has confirmed there is only $195,000 available in the rainy day fund. The remaining $305,000 could be pre-approved from the 2019 Capital Budget. However, this would leave the rainy day fund with a balance of $0 and would not be available if there were unexpected expenses throughout the year,” said Richard.

As an alternative it was suggested Council direct Administration to award the revised Whitesand Drive Stormwater Improvements Tender to Wyonzek Bros. Const. Ltd, for $808,686.45 taxes included and furthermore the total project budget be approved for $1,200,000 with the additional $500,000 to be pre-approved from 2019 Capital Budget.

While Council members were all quick to rally behind the need for the project, the best way to fund the overage on the initial budget led to a long debate.

Councillor Darcy Zaharia was having a problem with only one tender having been submitted for the project. He said he was “skeptical” of only one bid and asked how often that has happened on major projects.

“It’s not common, but it has happened on occasion,” said City Manager Lonnie Kaal.

“Something needs to be done, but I’m voting against it,” responded Zaharia, who would remain true to that position being the lone dissenting vote when Council approved the recommendation.

Coun. Mitch Hippsley said he too would have “hoped to get at least two tenders. Good business sense … tells me we should have two,” but even with just one added “we owe it to residents,” to do the work.

Coun. Ken Chyz wanted the project to go ahead but he initially balked at committing 2019 budget dollars to the project.

“I think this is a project that should be completed,” he said, then suggested cost savings from an earlier City project this year be allocated to the drainage work.

However, Kaal noted the saving was actually money the City did not need to borrow, so it was not actually in an account to access.

In the end Council passed drawing $500,000 from the City’s 2019 Capital Budget, which amounts to having pre spent about 12.5 per cent of the usual capital funds available annually.

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