Straight pipes program on track, under budget

by Gayle Wilson

The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg's (MODL's) La Have River Straight Pipe Replacement Program is on track and well within budget, according to the project's coordinator, Maria Butts.

Butts gave an update to MODL's council on the program's progress at its meeting on January 28. She said a total of 150 septic systems have been replaced over the two years that the program has been running, with 73 of those installed last year.

That means the program is meeting the targets it set out for its first and second years.

"So really happy with those results within our first two years," said Butts, adding that for both years the replacement project has come in under budget.

"To be able to say with such a complex project that we're on schedule and under budget is a great success," Butts emphasized to the council members.

Last year saw the project kick off its inspection program. According to Butts, more than 300 inspections were carried out, and the municipality was able to find properties that qualified for the program, have them signed up, and designs for installations in the works for the start of this year's installation season.

The project is aiming to continue with another 400 inspections this year, "and we'll hope to see those wrapped up so that we can, in a short time, have a final target for installations for the program," Butts added.

She said staff are continuing to assess the program's procedures for ongoing improvement of customer experience and economic efficiency. She noted they have recommended some changes to the procurement strategies in respect of contractors as well as a "slight" increase in the administration fee to $1,627 per system to account for adjusted administration services and ensure all costs are covered.

The recommendations were put in a motion, and council passed them unanimously.

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