Dawson City council frees up $1.6 million for waste diversion project

·2 min read
Dawson City increased their budget for the solide waste diversion facility because its project manager was working with outdated budget numbers, and they were struggling to attract contractors to the project at its initial price tag. (Chris Wattie/Reuters - image credit)
Dawson City increased their budget for the solide waste diversion facility because its project manager was working with outdated budget numbers, and they were struggling to attract contractors to the project at its initial price tag. (Chris Wattie/Reuters - image credit)

During a special meeting on Monday, Dawson City council approved the $1.6 million needed to cover the design and construction costs of a $3.5-million solid waste diversion centre.

The SWDC will handle both refundable and non-refundable recyclables. Mayor William Kendrick says the facility will also accept organic material.

"It's pretty critical and it's fairly important to townspeople of Dawson City. Landfills, of course, are very expensive to open.... The idea is to extend the life of our current landfill facility for as long as possible. Any investment in diversion is a positive step for the city of Dawson," Kendrick said.

To cover that cost, the city plans to seek grant funding before resorting to available money under the Canada Community-Building fund, a federal infrastructure grant for municipalities.

According to a report from administration, Colliers Project Leaders was chosen this year to work on a plan for building the facility but due to extensive delays, Colliers was working with outdated budget information.

The estimated budget is from 2018 but costs increased dramatically since then, the administration said.

"Contractors who originally expressed interest in the project have bowed out of the process due to the impossibility of providing the needed structure within the original budget of $1.86 million. It is apparent that the City needs to increase the budget to complete the proposed project."

Kendrick said council also voted to extend the window for companies to bid on the project.

"The hope is, of course, that competitive proposals will get the best value for Dawson City," he said.

"There just needed to be some more wiggle room to attract as many firms as possible to this project."

The administration's report says there has been "a very strong appetite" within Dawson City for recycling service and that a new solid waste diversion facility has been a priority for many years.

It notes two main benefits of recycling and waste diversion. The first is reducing consumption will help reduce emissions. The second is extending the lifespan of the city's landfill, which ranges between 80 and 100 years.

"This could be significantly reduced if a functioning waste diversion program is not implemented," the report says.

The report says city management has tried unsuccessfully to secure additional funding from two sources and continues to watch for further opportunities from the federal and territorial governments.

The city has $6.9 million available through the Canada Community-Building fund, it says. With $1 million committed to existing projects, the city will have $5.8 million to draw upon for the SWDC.

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