Council unhappy with lack of progress in project

Staff shortage contributed to delay in water main replacement project

Mission council blasted its engineering department Monday night after receiving a report to award five asbestos cement (AC) water main replacement projects to the lowest bidder.

Councillors weren’t offended by the $349,865 cost, but rather the length of time it has taken staff to bring the project to the tendering phase.

Council approved the water main project in March, and it should have been finished by the end of this year, said Mayor Ted Adlem. “I have a problem with the timing … we’re essentially putting the project behind because we’re not putting [the tender] out in a reasonable time. I’m very annoyed.”

The green light was given in March 2013 to replace 10 km of the AC water mains showing structural degradation of 45 per cent or higher in the next nine years. The new pipes, expected to last 75 years, are made of either ductile iron or polyvinyl chloride.

Ten projects were identified for this year. To determine the most efficient and cost-effective method to carry out the work, district staff took on half the projects and contracted out the other five.

Municipal staff began working on the projects in October and estimate the completion date will be early February 2014.

The selected contractor is expected to begin the job later this month and finish by May 2014.

Hirod Gill, Mission’s manager of engineering services, explained the project fell behind because of a lack of in-house expertise in the area and staff shortage.

Adlem wasn’t the only council member unhappy with the lack of progress. Couns. Larry Nundal, Tony Luck, and Dave Hensman also expressed their concerns.

Coun. Jenny Stevens was “horrified” at the way a member of district staff was being blasted in public and suggested this kind of discussion take place in the mayor’s office next time.

Mission’s chief administrative officer (CAO), Ken Bjorgaard, noted staff have also been trying to coordinate roads that need to be resurfaced at the same time.

There is a shortage of skilled workers who can fill technical positions in Mission, said Bjorgaard. “We never hurry into hiring, but there are resources staff can look into.”

He suggested staff come back with a report on how to accomplish the upcoming work.

We want to see progress, explained Hensman, adding staff need to communicate with the CAO to clear any blockages in the way.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: West Coast Christmas Show and Artisan Market at Tradex

Over the past 11 years the show has been attended by over 175,000 visitors

Body found after SUV found fully engulfed in flames in Abbotsford field

Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has been called in

Man stabbed in Abbotsford during altercation in restaurant parking lot

Victim taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries Friday afternoon

Pilot Sonya Sangster receives UFV Distinguished Alumni Award

Former grad flies planes and works in international development

Mission author to sign copies of her first book

Wendy Fraser will be at Totally Book-ish in the Junction Mall on Nov. 21

VIDEO: Bald Eagle Festival welcomes tourists, salmon, eagles to Harrison Mills

The annual festival took place on Saturday, Nov. 16 and Sunday, Nov. 17

Paul Bissonnette joins Vancouver Warriors after tweeting he could walk on to an NLL club

Bissonnette will join the Warriors for their final week of training camp at Rogers Arena

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

B.C. First Nations drop out of court challenge, sign deals with Trans Mountain

Upper Nicola Band says deal represents a ‘significant step forward’

Most Read