DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: The Lake Scugog Enhancement project is heading back to the drawing board after tenders came in well above the Township’s budget.
At a council meeting on Monday, September 25th, Scugog councillors saw a report which recommended the contract not be awarded for work on the enhancement project.
“The tendering period closed on August 31st. We had 14 people pick up or download the contract documents. However, we only had three people submit bids for it, and the lowest bid was approximately $3.4 million over our available budget,” Carol Coleman, Scugog’s Director of Public Works and Infrastructure, explained.
She noted inflation, limited firms available to do the work and the potential risk of a multi-year project as potential reasons the cost of the project has increased so substantially.
The report also recommended the Healthy Lake Scugog Steering Committee, Kawartha Conservation, and Scugog Lake Stewards work with Township staff and Scugog Regional Councillor Ian McDougall on options to move the project forward again. A report would then come to Council, in February 2024.
“So many people have worked diligently over many years to see this hugely beneficial project to the community come to fruition. So, of course, it is disappointing we are not yet in a position to proceed. As a Township project, the Council, of course, determines the outcomes based on the tender results. I remain optimistic that through further consideration of options by the Township, Scugog Lake Stewards, Kawartha Conservation and the Healthy Lake Scugog Steering Committee, we will determine plausible next steps,” read a statement from Rob Messervey, the President of the Scugog Lake Stewards.
The Lake Scugog Enhancement project includes dredging a 6.62 hectare area of Lake Scugog, constructing a 245 metre-long berm, constructing a wetland behind the berm and having a pedestrian bridge built as well.
“We all agree that we want to improve the water quality in the bay, [and] we want to improve the recreational opportunities. So, we want to go back and find a way that we can go forward,” Director Coleman said.
Ward 2 Councillor Janna Guido asked why the funding provided from the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation and the Region of Durham is no longer confirmed for this project.
“It depends what the scope of work is before we can have that dialogue with them. So, if we’re changing it significantly from what is proposed, we have to have those conversations to make sure they still support those projects,” Director Coleman responded.
Councillor McDougall stated there has been a lot of information the township has gained over the course of the planning process for this project.
“This group has done a lot of work to forward this to where it is today. There’s a lot of information on boreholes, the amount of sediment in the water and other information we’ve gained, and there’s been management for fish habitats. Things which have been put in place for this project we don’t necessarily lose by looking at this again.”
The recommendations in the report were later approved unanimously by Council.