TRURO - Estimated costs of a Valley paving project have increased by about one-third over the original forecasted price but residents may be spared the additional hit.
That is because the province has already started the work without waiting for word from the Municipality of Colchester as to whether it still wanted to proceed in light of the increased costs.
"If they have already started paving, deny it and the province will have to do it," Coun. Bill Masters said during council discussion of information from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal about the projected increase.
The paving project involves Raven Road and Junco Court in Valley, which was originally estimated to cost a total of $189,000. The lowest of four bids that came in for the job, however, was for $282,000 from Dexter Construction Ltd., a difference of $93,000.
Street paving within the county requires majority approval by 51 per cent of the affected residents, who are billed for the municipal share on their residential taxes, based on property frontage. And area councillor Karen MacKenzie said the increase would mean that one of her constituents would be on the hook for $8,000, which she deemed to be unreasonable.
Discussion on the subject came to an abrupt end, however, when council learned that preparation work for the paving has already begun.
Such projects are cost shared between the county and the province, which is required to notify the municipality in writing of any cost overruns greater than 10 per cent on approved projects.
Given that the province had known about the difference in costs in early July, but did not inform the county prior to beginning its work, council decided it would stick to its original agreed-upon estimate.
"They could've come to us two months ago and said what the price was going to be," MacKenzie said.