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.