Bridgewater pre-approves three capital projects

KELSEY POWER PHOTO Two police cars located outside of the Bridgewater Police Department.

Two police cars located outside of the Bridgewater Police Department.

Town hall, dog park and police cars receive funding

Three 2015-16 capital projects received pre-approved funding totalling $160,000, on February 23 at Bridgewater Town Council.

The third floor of the town hall has been approved for renovations in conjunction with some security enhancements that were approved in the 2014-15 budget. This will cost $22,000. The space will also be used to accommodate staff currently in the Coughlan Building when it is sold.

The Generations Active Park was also tossed an early budget bone.

The trail, dog park and drainage system have improved chances of making a successful grant application, so the amount being budgeted is $68,000. Parks and recreation has applied for a $29,000 grant from the province. “We’re suggesting that approval be contingent on the receipt of that grant,” said Dawn Keizer, director of finance for the Town of Bridgewater.

“We’re spending $68,000, but $29,000 of it is coming from the province, the rest from us. So our portion is not $68,000, but we always budget gross, and then we fund it.”

This amount is in addition to $18,500 requested to be carried forward from the last year’s budget.

The police will be purchasing two new patrol vehicles, something they have deferred for the past two years. The budgeted amount for this is $70,000. They will take eight to 10 weeks to deliver.

Normally the police’s capital plan is to purchase one car per year. Every third year, they are able to purchase two.

“Right now we have two cars that are in the 140 to 150,000 km… range, which is industry standard for replacing them. Some places go a little bit longer, but we find that if you don’t you’re going to have increased maintenance costs,” said police chief John Collyer.

“We saw this last year when we deferred a car. In the car that was not replaced the transmission went, but luckily the car that was being replaced hadn’t been sold yet, so we took the transmission out of that and put it in the car that should have gone.”

He also said the fleet efficiency study showed that 49 per cent of the fleets running time was idling, which adds to the wear and tear on the engines, something that isn’t reflected in kilometres.

“You’ll notice that the Dominion Street is not on the list, and, first of all, that’s because it’s a very expensive project and we’re approving projects without the context of the whole capital budget, but also there’s a water portion to that which has to be approved by the UARB, so the tender can’t go out until the UARB approves the water portion,” said Ms Keizer.

Pavement management was also not included due to the size of the program, which varies. The amount sometimes changes from year to year, depending on the priorities of council.

“I fully appreciate not putting pavement management in because that scares people,” said Mayor David Walker.

“Just driving around the streets in Bridgewater now, I’ve never seen this many potholes.”

The Dominion Street project is due to cost $490,000. The approval is expected in late April or early May.

In terms of operating costs, street-line painting was pre-approved for an amount of $42,800.

Pre-approved amounts are to be included in capital and operating budgets accordingly.

As originally published in LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin

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