Vernon councillor raises concern over infrastructure reserve "getting pretty skimpy"

Reserve fund 'skimpy'

The City of Vernon’s infrastructure reserve fund is "getting pretty skimpy," says the city's newest councillor.

Coun. Brian Guy raised the concern Tuesday during discussion of construction cost increases.

The 32nd Avenue project between Pleasant Valley Road and 20th Street was given the green light to receive $524,388 in additional funding, prompting Guy to say a "half a million dollar budget increase in five months" is a "serious issue."

"This is a real concern. Every single project that we deal with is experiencing these heavy cost pressures," he said.

"We really need a thoughtful strategy on this."

The original project budgeted $1,720,000, which was approved by council in December. But that number jumped to $2,244,388 after construction pricing was received May 2.

City staff based this year's budget for Phase 1 of the project on the pricing it received last year.

Strategies for dealing with continued inflation construction cost escalation report will be brought for council to review.

Staff will revise the Phase 2 and 3 budget as part of the annual update to the five-year plan.

Coun. Teresa Durning noted the additional cost wasn't a budget mistake, but rather an "ongoing issue that's being faced by the city."

Guy raised the concern about the infrastructure reserve a second time, during discussion of Deer Park funding.

"We're going to be down $140,000, now, in the infrastructure reserve after we do this, which is even skimpier than after the last motion," said Guy.

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