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New harbour industrial road prelim gets green light in Alberni
The city’s habour industrial road will cost $1.3 million more than was originally budgeted for, city engineer Guy Cicon said.
City council voted to give Cicon the go-ahead to pursue expanded discussions with Western Forest Products, the Port Alberni Port Authority and Catalyst about the route’s preliminary design.
The discussions include land ownership agreements, timing, time schedules and design finalization.
Cicon said he expected to approach stakeholders right away and continue talks through the fall. “We haven’t established a milestone yet but I expect we’ll present an expanded report during the budget process,” he said.
The Harbour industrial road has been in the works for several years. The proposed road would run from Redford Street to Ship Creek Road. The road would pass through lands and infrastructure owned by Catalyst, the Port Alberni Port Authority and Western Forest Products.
The preliminary design encompasses from Ship Creek Road to Bruce Street. This phase of the project was originally projected to cost $2.7 million. But Cicon’s report noted that the cost is now $4 million.
“Ouch,” Coun. Jack McLeman said.
Cicon apprised council that the cost estimate was drawn up in 2004. A spike in construction costs since then and expanded scope of design account for the increases, which should also be projected in phase two and three of the project as well, Cicon said.
The expanded scope includes access and intersection work, improvements to Western Forest Products storage compounds, and a separate access road to the Western Forest Proucts dryland sort that wasn’t originally envisioned, Cicon said.
Coun. Cindy Solda asked how the city was going to service the pending $4 million debt.
City manager Ken Watson gamed out a scenario that would see the city pay back $225,000 per year for 30 years.
Solda asked is this equated to a residential tax increase. Watson replied that it did represent a two percent increase, which would be instituted in either 2014 or 2015.
Councillor Hira Chopra reminded councillors about an expectation the company cited to city officials as an absolute. “They want this for trucks only. No bike lines or nothing hidden in the report,” he said. “The deal could go sour and all that work for nothing.”