Talk is cheap, but the Maxville water project is not, and any talk about the $30 million-dollar being over-budget is just not true, according to North Glengarry Director of Finance and Treasurer. Kimberley Champigny, says the project is only 35 per cent complete so it is impossible to say if any component of the project is over budget. I’m really quite confident it’s going to be fine,” said Champigny. North Glengarry Mayor Chris McDonell said, “I haven’t heard it,” when asked if the project was a million dollars over-budget.
“Everything’s going well,” he said.
The project involves building a water pipeline from Alexandria to Maxville and constructing watermains to serve residences and businesses in the village. Maxville already had a sewer system and water came from private wells. McDonell said some of those wells were no longer a source of safe drinking water. Work began on the project in May, including the construction of the water tower. The total project is expected to take two years to complete.
Champigny explained that council decided to replace sidewalks along some of the affected streets that were not covered under the provincial and federal grants the township had received for the project. She said that rather than rebuilding a street after installing watermains under it and leaving a sidewalk next to it in poor condition, council thought it was best to rebuild them at the same time.
“There are funds available to do this,” Champigny assured.
North Glengarry plans to have the Maxville water project completed by early in 2020. As far as the work on individual streets goes, Champigny said, “It’s going well, we’re on target.” The treasurer did not have specific budget numbers for each street. She also noted that if one aspect of a large public works project does end up being over-budget, the amount is often offset by components that are under-budget. For example, if new concrete curbs for a street cost more than expected, and asphalt pavement cost less than expected, the amount left over from the asphalt budget could be used to pay for the curbs.
This year — 2018 — has been a busy year of water work in North Glengarry. In addition to the large Maxville project, the township began work in August to replace an antiquated four-inch watermain with a new six-inch one on Centre Street in Alexandria.
Note: an earlier story cited the project cost as about $10 million and included information that the project spending had gone over-budget. This is a revised version of that earlier story, with new information.
My information came from the chief engineer of the project who told me that $500,000 of change orders had been submitted at 60% completion of the Maxville portion of the project and there had been $500,000 worth of extra work tacked onto the project at the same time. The notion of any part of this project coming in under budget is curious to say the least. Projects of this size, on average, come in at 10% over budget. I am confident that “over budget” on the Maxville project is no rumour.