By Tristan Marks
Lincoln Council voted unanimously on Monday to proceed with a revised Jordan Village improvement plan budget after additional savings were found.
Staff presented an updated municipal budget with a net $125,000 savings compared to a version proposed last month.
Staff worked to cut $275,000 from the project budget for this year at the direction of council. Of this, $75,000 came from removing a number of Silva soil cells from the final plan. The other $200,000 came from staff recommending council defer the purchase of maintenance equipment until the 2022 or 2023 budgets.
However, this new budget included the amendment introduced by Coun. Paul MacPherson at the previous meeting to add more paver stones to the project design, which increased the budget by $150,000.
During discussion, the councillors voiced their support for the new project budget and thanked the Staff for combing through it one final time.
“I am very excited to get to the starting line,” said Coun. MacPherson.
However, Mayor Sandra Easton suggested reallocating the savings back into the project since the savings were small compared to its overall budget.
Couns. JD Pachereva and Lynn Timmers also voiced some concerns about deciding to defer the equipment purchases to a later year.
“Two-hundred thousand dollars on $10 million is a drop in the bucket,” Pachereva said.
Coun. Timmers asked what equipment these costs were for.
Director of Public Works David Graham explained that this equipment will be for maintaining the Village grounds, and thus won’t need to be purchased until the project concludes. This list included an outdoor vacuum for litter control, a scrubber vehicle for cleaning road pavers and other surfaces and lawn care equipment among others.
Despite these concerns, Council approved the budget amendments and proceeded with the project with a unanimous vote, save for Coun. Mike Mikolic who declared a conflict.
The total project budget moving forward is estimated to be $10.8 million, which the town will tender after a project bidder is chosen.
The project will be completed over three phases. Phase 1 will take place over 2021 and includes construction on Nineteenth St. and 21st St. Phase 2 will take place over 2022 and possibly 2023, focussing on the improvements for Main St. Lastly, any further works, such as for parking lots, will be wrapped up during Phase 3 in 2023.
In comments after the meeting, CAO Mike Kirkopoulos said he anticipates that the project will begin moving in the next few months, after “repairing the pre-qualification documents and exercise for prospective bidders and of course also finishing our tendering documents.”
“This will take us the next month or two, and then we want to be ready to hit the construction window as soon as possible,” Kirkopoulos said. “Shovels in the ground/site mobilization begin, I would hope, in late spring, early summer.”