Trail council awards bridge contract

Public meetings this week in Trail, Warfield and Rossland

The new Trail pipe/pedestrian bridge will break ground in October, says city mayor Mike Martin.

His words follow Trail council awarding the $12.23 million project to a Calgary company Friday afternoon.

Martin maintains the walking platform will not impact city taxpayers even though the bid is $2 million-plus above budget. But that doesn’t mean the project won’t affect property taxes come June.

What will impact taxpayers in Trail, Rossland and Warfield is the utility part of the bridge, which is a new waste-carrying pipeline strung shore-to-shore underneath the pedestrian deck.

The three regional sewer partners agreed to a $3 million increase in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) borrowing bylaw last week to get the utility built, after tenders came in well above the 2014 negotiated contribution of $4.2 million.

Before the province amends the RDKB loan authorization to $7.2 million, however, certain conditions have to be met.

First, the three municipalities must each host a public consultation process to inform taxpayers about the loan increase and potential tax impacts.

Trail council will hold its public meeting Thursday,  though the time won’t be released until later today (Tuesday).

Warfield’s public session is slated for Thursday beginning at 7 p.m. in the village’s community hall.

“We will be providing an overview of the sewer pipe costs,” confirmed Warfield Mayor Ted Pahl. “And sharing how we made the decision we did to support this.”

Rossland has scheduled a public drop-in session Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at its city hall. Rossland Mayor Kathy Moore says citizens are invited to attend and learn about the bridge deal as well as give council their comments.

Trail council unanimously agreed to proceed with the Graham Infrastructure LP bid Friday, subject to the necessary inclusion conditions by the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development related to the regional loan amendment.

Following the public consultation process, an approval by the ministry’s Inspector of Municipalities is required as well as the final adoption with the RDKB.

“The regional sewer service members are very hopeful that the ministry and Inspector of Municipalities will see the merits of this project and the potential to save the regional sewer service millions of dollars,” said Martin.

“As well as to address the real need to remove the existing sewer line off the Old Bridge.”

Moore reiterated the Trail mayor’s comments saying all three municipalities are aware of the aging infrastructure and the need to replace it.

“The bridge (Old Trail Bridge) has been condemned for a number of years,” said Moore. “Though chances are it’s not going to fall into the river tomorrow, we cannot risk a leak or an environmental disaster. So it was important that we get a solution after working on this for years.”