Friday April 18, 2014

Council OKs $10 millions worth of capital projects

Early approval list includes boat launch, road repairs and fitness equipment

Kamloops City council gave staff the go-ahead on $10-million worth of capital projects to get the jump on next year's construction schedule.

Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a range of items listed by staff that are considered necessary and that would benefit from early approval. Coun. Tina Lange was absent.

City assistant finance director Doug Stewart said the items amount  to 22 per cent — almost one quarter — of the proposed $45-million capital budget for 2014.

The items include big-ticket projects like $1.9 million in collector road rehabilitation, $500,000 for West Highland Park, and repairs and retrofits to the Tournament Capital Centre for $1.3 million.

Coun. Ken Christian wondered if the early start would prevent situations like the continued construction on Highland Drive, which has gone into winter.

Stewart said it would in many cases. Highland Drive went out to tender late and then faced completion in cold weather.

Mayor Peter Milobar noted council passes an early capital list every year, with the idea of speeding up tenders and getting in on the construction window.

Coun. Nelly Dever noted a boat launch upgrade and erosion control for $50,000 that had been denied in the past.

“Is this something we put out every year?” she asked.

City parks, recreation and culture director Byron McCorkell said the launch needs to be repaired and the work has to be done when the water is low.

Dever also pointed to $125,000 for fieldhouse fitness equipment and wondered if that was just for the one year.

McCorkell said there’s an ongoing capital replacement program and that amount is spent annually. The money comes from revenue, he said.

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