Council approves $86,000 extra for hotel site

The City of Lacombe has gone more than $86,000 over budget in the site preparations for the sale of land

  • Jun. 26, 2014 5:00 p.m.

The City of Lacombe has gone more than $86,000 over budget in the site preparations for the sale of land to a party interested in constructing a hotel near Michener Park.

Officials have said this is due to unforeseen circumstances.

At its regular meeting earlier this week, City council heard an update on the site preparation project and learned that the project, originally expected to cost $150,000, now has an expected price tag of just over $236,000.

The increase in cost is due to amount of black dirt on the site being vastly in excess of the City’s initial estimates. Originally, it was expected that only 14 inches of black dirt overlayed native material below at the site.

Furthermore, it was believed that the existence of any borrow pits (snake pits) on the site were fairly minor and would have no significant impact on the lot.

Geotechnical drilling was conducted on the site by the potential purchaser and the results were reviewed by City administration.

The results indicated that the depths of black dirt at the site were likely less than the initial estimation.

However, after beginning work on the program, it became clear that the thickness of the dirt was much more than the 14 inch estimate and two extensive snake pits were also discovered. These problems had not been discovered during the prior examination of the land because, for an unknown reason, the snake pits were overlayed with a thin layer of imported sand.

Thus, when the geotechnical drilling occurred, the drillers would have passed through the top layers of black dirt to discover what was assumed to be native material.

In reality however, additional black dirt lay below a thin layer of sand. Because of the increase in black dirt needed to be excavated, as well as the need to haul that dirt farther than anticipated to dispose of it, the cost of the project rose substantially.

Councillor Reuben Konnik expressed his frustrations that the cost of the project was climbing and his concern about the uncertainty of the final cost of the site preparation.

“Unfortunately, I think we have to keep going, but I don’t want another memo in a month’s time saying we need (more money).”

Chief Administrative Officer Norma MacQuarrie said that the project has now been completed to the point that administration is certain there are no more snake pits or additional amounts of black dirt that will need to be removed.

“We’re fairly certain about this number,” said MacQuarrie.

The rest of council largely agreed with Konnik’s sentiments and were equally frustrated by the situation but did not see much alternative.

“I understand that we’re at a point where we are caught between a rock and a hard place,” said Councillor Peter Bouwsema.

Councillor Wayne Armishaw agreed.

“This is indeed unfortunate that the geotechnical testing did not reveal the problems and we have no option.”

To adjust for the unexpected increase in cost, council voted unanimously to allocate the additional funds from the sale of the land.

news@lacombeexpress.com

 

Just Posted

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

The Sylvan Lake Gulls show off the home jerseys (white) and their way jerseys at the Gulls Media Day on June 17, before the season opener. Following the media day, the team took to the field for their first practise. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Gulls ready to throw first pitch as construction continues

The Gulls inaugural season kicks off June 18 with a game against the Edmonton Prospects

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

Most Read