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Council confirms water plant tender, New Tec agreement

Raymond A. Barker water treatment plant expansion project will cost $270 million, with the cost split between Collingwood and New Tecumseth
2021-07-26 WaterDesign JO-001
A preliminary design concept by AECOM and Ainley and Associates Limited for the Raymond A. Barker Water Treatment Plant expansion.

It’s official: the Town of Collingwood is signing on with Kenaidan to build their $270 million water treatment plant expansion.

During their April 15 special council meeting, councillors voted through a bylaw to execute an agreement with Kenaidan for the expansion, and with the Town of New Tecumseth for an updated agreement which outlines how the two municipalities will work together on water moving forward. Council voted through the terms on the day Kenaidan’s bid was set to expire.

“It’s been a long process, and it’s (meant) a lot of in-camera work,” said Deputy Mayor Tim Fryer. “I’m pleased that we’re moving ahead and are putting it into the public realm now.”

The entire cost of the Raymond A. Barker water treatment plant expansion project is expected in the $270 million range, with an estimated date of completion in 2031 and more water capacity available as of August 2029.

Kenaidan was the lowest of three bidders for the construction, with their bid coming in at $212 million. During a council meeting back in January, the town’s CAO Sonya Skinner clarified that the $270 million figure is broken down to the $212 bid, plus additional costs the town has incurred including completed engineering and construction work, pre-ordered equipment, inspection, records, and a contingency amount.

Following a five-hour in-camera session on April 10, Collingwood council and New Tecumseth council spoke to their negotiation of an updated agreement between the two towns.

According to the updated agreement, New Tecumseth will proceed with its portion of the water treatment plant costs, which account for 63 per cent, or $170.1 million.

In exchange, 250 cubic metres of water capacity will be made available to New Tecumseth immediately, with a further supply of 150 cubic metres of Collingwood’s remaining capacity to be made available within the next year. The agreement is subject only to the technical capabilities of the plant.

New Tecumseth and Collingwood will also participate in discussions concerning an interim water solution, subject to proportional cost sharing. In March, Collingwood council voted to hire consultant AECOM to study such options, which is expected to be completed by October 2024.

New Tecumseth is in the midst of completing a wells optimization project. Should excess capacity be found through that exercise, there would be a return to Collingwood of 200 cubic metres per day.

Both municipalities will continue to pursue provincial and federal funding for the project, however no funding from either level of government has been publicly committed to date.

“Today, we have an opportunity to vote on moving forward with our water treatment plant expansion, which will support all of the other things we want and need for our community,” said Mayor Yvonne Hamlin. “It’s not often that a council has a chance to make a decision on something that will clearly have an impact on generations.”

Hamlin thanked Collingwood’s CAO Sonya Skinner, staff and council for their assistance in getting the project to where it is now.

“It hasn’t been an easy road over the last year,” she said, adding there is "an expectation" that Collingwood may receive funding through provincial infrastructure programs.

Council voted unanimously in favour of accepting Kenaidan’s bid, and proceeding with an updated agreement with New Tecumseth.

To read about how Collingwood is planning to pay for its portion of the costs, which are 37 per cent of the total costs or $99.9 million, click here.