Finance Director Kevin Tessier presented council with a summary report on how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected some of the budget priorities for the township. Three capital works projects, one involving extensive replacement of a neighbourhood storm sewer, are now postponed to next year.
The Stephen and St-Denis Streets storm sewer upgrade project was one of the priority items for the public works department this year. The $1.35 million project required a long-term loan for the township.
Tessier’s report noted that the project can be postponed to next year. One 20-metre section is in poor condition, though, and may need replacement this year.
Overall, the report noted, postponement of the Stephen/St-Denis storm sewer upgrade to next year should pose no health and safety risk. The township may be able to benefit from potential cost saving by re-tendering the project early next year when contractors are scrambling to get as many projects confirmed for their work season and may offer bids at lower cost to secure the contract.
Council approved a recommendation to postpone the project to 2021. The proposed financing will not be changing for the time being.
Two projects for the parks and recreation department also are on hold until next year.
Plans for additional play structures at Miner Park will go ahead in 2021 instead of this year. The project is not considered an essential service need under the provincial pandemic policy. The $60,000 budgeted for the project will go into the parks and recreation reserve for use next year.
Tree planting at L’Orignal Park and Desjardins Park will wait until next year. The $18,000 allocated in this year’s budget for the project will go into the parks and recreation reserve for use next year.
The township also allocated $2000 for tree removal this year. That can still go ahead as landscaping work for health and safety reasons is considered an essential service.