Goulds upgrade will need $62 million, city says

Dave Bartlett
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

This area of Main Road in Goulds near St. Kevin’s Junior High School is slated for a $3.2-million infrastructure makeover this construction season. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Bringing water and sewer in Goulds up to an urban standard will cost the City of St. John’s an estimated $62 million dollars.

At a city public works committee last week, director of engineering Walt Mills gave an update on the 2009 Goulds servicing study.

Because of persistant problems with “excessive infiltration inflow” into the area’s sanitary sewer system, the report recommended before the city starts upgrading the water and wastewater infrastructure in Goulds, that it first identify and fix problems in three neighbourhoods — the Meadowbrook Drive area, Keith Drive area and Main Road area — where excessive storm water is getting into sewer lines and, in some cases, eroding the pipes.

Mills presented a report Thursday, which pegged the cost of fixing issues in those areas at more than $9.5 million.

 

Pot of money not big enough … Continued from page A1

While it was recommended these projects be put on next year’s capital works budget list, there’s no money to start that work this year.

But that $9.5 million is on top of the $3.2 million council has approved this year to upgrade all infrastructure in front of St. Kevin’s Junior High on Main Road — from pipes to sidewalks and the road.

And that’s on top of the $51.7 million price tag put on service upgrades in Goulds in the 2009 report.

Those costs could be higher today, and much higher before the city gets around to doing all the work.

City manager Bob Smart said at the meeting this is a perfect example of why the city needs a better financial arrangement with the province, as the longer the city waits to do the work, the more expensive it will be.

Current Coun. Bruce Tilley was also a member of council when Goulds amalgamated with St. John’s in 1991. He told The Telegram the small pot of money the province gave to the city at the time wasn’t close to what was needed to do the work in the former town.

“All the citizens of St. John’s, all these years, are paying their taxes and yet there’s not enough money to do the job because it’s extra money that the government should have provided ... to do the work,” said Tilley.

He also questioned the quality of work, or standards used, before amalgamation when Goulds was governed by Metroboard — an arms-length office of the provincial government.

Tilley said the city was aware the problem would be a major one even at the time of amalgamation.

“But there was no choice,” he said.

“I fully sympathize with the residents of the Goulds, I understand exactly where they’re coming from,” added Tilley. “We can’t go on any longer with the funds we’ve been given by government, it’s impossible,”

Tilley asked staff to draw up a graphic which shows where the problems are in Goulds, what work has to be done and the costs of each project so council and the public can have a better idea of the extent of the work.

 

dbartlett@thetelegram.com

Geographic location: Goulds, Main Road, Meadowbrook Drive

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • gouligan
    February 20, 2012 - 13:42

    I moved to Goulds with my family in 2001. we have city water and sewer and we pay just as much taxes a the rest of the city. The city decided my street needed upgrades to the sewer system a few years back and they wanted to install curb and gutter at the same time AT THE RESIDENTS EXPENSE! we didn't ask for curb and gutter on a residential street and knowing the cost we all had a meeting with the city and we opposed it but guess what we got it anyway with a $5000 price tag average per property! they charged by the frontage so with that being said IF they are planning to put curb and gutter anywhere else after upgrading the storm sewers the property owners should be charged, why should anyone else be treated differently because of the area of town they live in.

  • City of St johns
    February 20, 2012 - 09:00

    Now you know why Mt Pearl and Paradise did,nt want to amalgamate with the Goulds they came with one hefty price tag,but St John,s are so greedy they just want it all,as long as they have more then Mt Pearl they are happy.And as for the Goulds they should have been left to themselves.They do nothing but complain and they are better of then they ever were.As for the comment about no sidewalks look around it's not just you....

    • Rob
      February 20, 2012 - 12:05

      "Left to themselves" isn't a viable option, obviously. We can't have thriving communities juxtaposed to struggling municipalities. St. John's isn't greedy. It's flourishing. Where's the greed in amalgamating a community in need? Mt. Pearl is surviving very comfortably, for sure. But don't think it isn't because of its proximity to St. John's and the infrastructure the capital has developed. Where is the Mt. Pearl hospital? The landfill? What percentage of Mt. Pearl citizens are employed within the town limits in comparison to those that work in neighbouring communities? The Goulds is in need of development in its services. To state it should be "left to themselves" is elitist and counter-productive to the best interests of citizens.

  • steve
    February 20, 2012 - 08:36

    The City's budget this year includes $440,000 dollars to clean the outside of City Hall. Council, is that really important enough to throw those kind of dollars at when we've got such desperate needs in water and sewer? The concrete looks aged, it's got a bit of a patina - so what!

  • Townie
    February 20, 2012 - 08:09

    As I remember 1991, Tilley and the rest of them were salvating at the idea of getting the Goulds. Now the taxpayer is saddled with their foolishmess and they are enjoying their nice pensions. Thanks Bruce etal for your volunteering to help the taxpayers of St. John's. They always tell us what a big favour they have done us poor slobs and that they get little reward. What a crook. Maybe like the firemen in Corner Brook we should cut their salaries or lay them off to pay for the work.