Iqaluit city council supports critical infrastructure projects slated for summer

Solid-waste facility, sewer upgrades and pipeline replacements still need additional approval

Iqaluit city councillors have voted in favour of proceeding with a number of the city’s critical infrastructure projects this summer, pending approval from the chief public health officer. (File photo)

By Dustin Patar

Iqaluit city councillors have approved a request to have more than a dozen critical infrastructure projects proceed this coming summer.

This will allow the city to officially bring these projects forward to the chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, and the Department of Community and Government Services, who will have the final say.

“I view these projects as absolutely essential,” Coun. Kyle Sheppard said during a council meeting on Wednesday, May 20.

“I have confidence that the CPHO can put measures in place to keep everybody safe.”

Earlier this month, Sheppard and the other council members also lent their support to a similar request made by the Government of Nunavut, paving the way for projects like the deepsea port and the correctional healing centre to go ahead pending Patterson’s approval.

There was no discussion of the city’s own projects at that earlier meeting, though Chief Administrative Officer Amy Elgersma did allude to such a meeting being in the pipeline.

“When we get a little further along, we may be coming to council for such recommendations,” she said on May 4.

Yesterday’s special council meeting, the fifteenth of the year, was that opportunity.

“With the COVID-19 situation and the travel restrictions as a result, there are challenges around completing some of the city’s capital projects,” said Elgersma.

“The city undertook an exercise with our project management team to identify which projects are of the highest risk if not completed.”

Thirteen projects were brought forward to council, many of which were also listed in the city’s amended capital budget, which was passed last week.

Among them are seven water projects, two sewer projects, two solid-waste projects, a bridge upgrade project and an electrical grounding project at the Arnaitok complex.

The projects range in size, with some involving only a single worker over a one-week period and others requiring up to 12 workers over a 22-week period.

“All of the workers would be required to follow the direction of the chief public health officer,” said Elgersma, “including the quarantine in the southern facility for 14 days.”

To assist in the council’s decision-making process, the city assigned financial and public-safety risk levels to each of the projects.

The city also added a third risk level to its list of proposed projects. That’s the risk of not meeting regulatory requirements, which is particularly relevant to projects such as the installation of electrical grounding for the city hall complex, which is required for the facility and its generator to comply with the electrical code.

The council approved the city’s request unanimously.

A full list of the projects can be found attached to the council meeting agenda.

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(1) Comment:

  1. Posted by Bob Gabuna on

    Kudos to City Council.
    New water pipes is sorely needed.

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