City needs to explain why bike path was so costly
During the City of Kamloops’ series of public “Let’s Talk” meetings on the 2013 budget, it would be nice of them to explain some items from the 2009 to 2012 budget concerning the Valleyview bike path.
This project’s budgeted cost went from $1.8 million at conception, to $4.2 million in 2009, to $5.9 million as per a newspaper account of June 2012, and to a final cost of $6.1 million as per information from city CAO David Trawin.
This was for a 600-metre long, six-foot-wide bike path with chain-link fencing, cement road dividers, some retaining walls and a small overbuilt bridge — all at a cost of $6.1 million.
The most expensive part, according to the city, was $3.5 million for 500 metres of chain-link fence, cement road dividers, some retaining walls and a six-foot-wide paved path.
Compare this to the Hillside Drive North project that was connected to Summit Drive and was constructed around the same time.
It was about 1.3-kilometres long, with a huge rock cut, steep grading, street lighting, sidewalks, treed boulevard, a two-lane paved road and what appears to be a provision for another two lanes in the future.
The cost was $9.6 million.
This equates to $10,166 per metre for 600 metres of a six-foot-wide bike path, compared to $7,384 per metre for a full blown, fully serviced, two-lane main transportation street.
City representatives have told me most of the cost was paid for by the two upper levels of government, that it did cost more than expected and that they would learn from it.
The taxpayer still paid for all of it, no matter where the money came from.
As far as I can ascertain, the city paid out about $3.3 million for this project, good for about a three per cent hike in our property taxes.
Something happened here that needs a better explanation than we, the taxpayer, have received so far.
This project needs a full-value-for-the-money audit from start to finish. with all of the players and contractors named.
For those who disagree, please tell me why 600 metres of a six-foot-wide paved trail costing $6.1 million is a goods deal? Are overruns like this the reasons our taxes go up every year?