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Sewer infrastructure maintenance cost blowout

Geoff Helisma|

Maintenance work to be carried out on Clarence Valley Council’s (CVC) sewer infrastructure will cost twice as much as expected.

At the February CVC meeting, councillors accepted a $1,272,137 tender from Ledonne Construction Pty Ltd to complete epoxy coating works to the inlet structures of some of its sewer treatment plants and pump stations.

Councillors also endorsed increasing the budget allocation for the job by $713,000, to be funded from CVC’s sewer fund, to complete the $1,399,351 project.

Staff wrote in the report to council that the $713,000 from the sewer fund “will not adversely impact the sewer fund performance, and that, following this variation, council will still have sufficient funds to pay the projected 2019/20 sewer fund dividend”.

The extra allocation includes enough to cover up to a 15 per cent variation allowance.

Staff outlined various possibilities in lieu of accepting Ledonne Construction’s tender, including postponing or cancelling the contract, calling for new tenders, rejecting all tenders and negotiating “with any person to undertake some or all of the work” or having CVC undertake the works.

However, staff advised that “it is considered [that] the best outcome for council would be if the full scope of work was undertaken at this time”, because “the epoxy coating component of the work is a specialist area” and “the value of subcontracting

[the work]

would exceed the threshold for calling tenders” – in other words, it would cost more to complete the project by delaying any of the proposed works in any way.