West Kelowna is taking action to ensure the safety of its residents in the Casa Loma neighborhood by constructing a second emergency egress route. The cost of this vital project has increased by approximately 37 percent, requiring a budget adjustment.
The City of West Kelowna recently approved a contract with R&L Construction Ltd., totaling $1.186 million for the construction project. In addition to the construction costs, there will be a $100,000 contingency fund, $50,000 for archaeological monitoring, and $30,000 for geotechnical investigation and testing. These additional expenses bring the overall project budget to $1.36 million, surpassing the original estimate of $995,000.
To cover the contingency and monitoring costs, as well as 84 percent of the construction contract, the city will allocate $995,000 from capital reserves. The remaining funds will come from future expenditure reserves. The developer of Sol Aqua will contribute to the project’s balance.
Construction of the emergency egress, connecting Casa Palmero Drive with Lakeview Road, is set to begin in November, aiming for completion in spring 2024. Although multiple companies expressed interest in the project, only one bid was received due to the technical challenges posed by the limited space in the area.
Councillor Stephen Johnston expressed concerns about the increase in costs and the lack of competitive bidding. He emphasized the need for improved processes to attract multiple bids for future projects. Mayor Gord Milsom shared these concerns but emphasized the urgency of proceeding with the egress construction to ensure the safety of residents, particularly in preparation for next year’s wildfire season.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Why is the emergency egress necessary for the Casa Loma neighborhood?
A: Having a second emergency exit is crucial for the safety of residents in case of emergencies such as wildfires or other disasters.
Q: How will the project be funded?
A: The city will contribute the majority of the funding, utilizing capital reserves and future expenditure reserves. The developer of Sol Aqua will also contribute to the project.
Q: When will construction begin and end?
A: Construction is scheduled to commence in November, with a projected completion date in spring 2024.
Q: Why was only one bid received for the project?
A: The limited space and technical complexities of the area made it challenging for multiple contractors to submit bids. Efforts will be made to improve the bidding process for future projects.