Amherstburg to spend $3-million on Boblo Island sewer upgrades

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Boblo Island is getting some much needed sewer upgrades.

Amherstburg council has awarded a tender to Amico Infrastructure to upgrade the pump station and water line which runs under the Detroit River to the mainland.

Rather than sending the project to open market, council opted for a fixed price — meaning Amico has guaranteed to get the work done for $3-million.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo says this takes all the risk away from the town as materials costs have been fluctuating due to the pandemic.

He says a number of factors played into council's decision.

"Obviously it's not a normal project. Somebody has to bore under the river to run that pipe. So that was the first concern. Another one is that the pumping station does not have a lot of life left in it. Start looking at the complications in the project, it's hard to estimate because people don't do this every day," he said.

DiCarlo believes a fixed price was the way to go.

"When we had a developer who we felt put forward a very reasonable cost that we would be committing to and then we would be passing the risk and liability to them to complete the project, the majority of council decided that we'd rather the developer take the risk, not us."

He says town staff will still be involved in the project.

"There was concerns about what that means when someone else is doing it, but we were assured that our engineering department and administration will still be involved in the project as it progresses," DiCarlo continued. "If you run into a problem going under a river, that was definitely something we were OK passing on to someone else."

A 2019 study estimated the project price tag to be just over $2.7-million, but construction costs have skyrocketed since then.

Work on the project is expected to begin right away. 

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