Asbestos found in drainage and sewage pipes during a routine replacement along Bishop Road to High Street is expected to cost the city an additional $225,000, on top of the $1.3 million already approved for the project.
The issue was brought forth to White Rock council last week, during which director of engineering and municipal operations Greg St. Louis explained that the discovery requires more pipes to be replaced than originally thought.
Coun. Alan Campbell expressed concern at the issue, saying that change orders such as this were "a license to make money when you're a contractor."
The company doing the work is Langley-based Pedre Contracting.
According to Campbell, he would have liked to see video cameras used during the initial inspection in order to know what they were dealing with at the onset.
"This is 25 per cent of the total contract value we're being asked to find," he said.
"As a contractor, this is great, but as a city... we do have money, but these are very large amounts."
Campbell also wondered if engineering had done all of the proper work leading up to the project, noting something messed up along the way.
"If the work hasn't been done we end up with a problem," he said.
But while Campbell and other members of council were concerned with the additional funds being requested, St. Louis said initially the contractor had quoted a higher cost for the additional work.
"This is where we ended up," said St. Louis of the $225,000. "(The contractor's) initial numbers were higher than this."
Coun. Larry Robinson also wondered about five change orders made since the project's start, all of which were over $25,000.
"Five of these are over $25,000 and that's about 2.5 per cent of the total contract, so is there a point where we have a process that kicks in where we expect to see a more detailed invoice?" he asked.
St. Louis responded by saying that there was no set amount at which some sort of audit process takes place, but noted that each increase is looked at thoroughly by staff.
The original budget for the project was $1.7 million, of which $1.3 million was approved in fall 2012.
Council voted to approve up to $250,563 for additional pipe replacements, if needed.
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