January 29, 2016 - 1:00 PM
VERNON - It costs the city more to do the same construction project today than it did a couple years ago.
Costs are going up for roads, sidewalks and other infrastructure, according to a report presented to Vernon City Council this week.
Infrastructure management technician Chris Thompson said a one kilometre section of Pleasant Valley Road completed in 2015 was compared with the construction pricing of a similar project on the same road in 2014, revealing a 6.5 per cent escalation in construction costs overall.
The biggest jump came in the price of asphalt, gravel, concrete curbs, sidewalks and landscaping, with modest increases in waterworks. Sanitary and storm sewer works, such as pipes and manholes, actually went down in price.
For example, the road work alone cost $881,354 in 2015, 12 per cent more compared to $786,895 in 2014.
“It’s actually scary when you look at where construction costs are going,” Coun. Catherine Lord said.
The comparison is part of a new city directive to report annually on the impact of rising construction costs on the municipality’s efforts to replace aging infrastructure. The city established a dedicated 1.9 per cent tax levy for infrastructure upgrades, but the fear is that escalating costs could erode that budget over the long term.
Thompson added road construction costs could see a reduction in 2016 due to global oil prices. City staff will continue monitoring changes, and anticipate using a larger sample size in the future. This was the first year such comparisons were reported to council.
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