Water meter budget increased by $150,000

Town councillors approved an additional $150,000 to install Neptune Technologies Group wireless water meter systems in homes

Town councillors approved an additional $150,000 to install Neptune Technologies Group wireless water meter systems in homes not within the scope of the original plan.

The decision was made during their regular meeting Tuesday, Oct. 28 after Dave McPhee, director of operations and property services, said there were some meters larger than the typical half inch size being replaced.

The original project was estimated at $900,000 plus GST. This addition will make the full cost $1.05 million plus GST.

“Through the scope of the project, we identified a set number of meters we needed to be changed,” said McPhee.

Approximately 200 control valves sized three quarters of an inch and one inch in size, not in the general terms of the contract, need to be replaced, explained Donna Brinkworth, communications officer for the town.

She said in an email that town council originally approved an amount of $1.3 million during budget approval and this project’s full cost is still less than what was approved. Those control valves also needed “resetters,” which had to be installed to ensure accurate water reading.

Other issues that caused the extra cost were delays in installations due to residents’ worries over health and safety.

Coun. Loanna Gulka asked if it would be cheaper to approve the addition now considering Neptune staff are still in town. McPhee agreed it would be more cost-effective.

“Will this finish up the project or is this coming back?” asked Coun. Marc Yaworski.

Installation of the meters is almost complete, answered McPhee but there are a small amount still to be scheduled and a handful of hold outs. He said there are several lines larger than the one inch pipes but town staff will handle those individually.

The additional $150,000 will come out of the Utility Reserve fund.