With the cost to repaint lines on the increase, Williams Lake city council has asked staff see if it is possible to achieve savings for this year’s program.
During its regular meeting Tuesday, March 22, city council was asked to award a $139,921.24 contract to Andesite Holdings DBA Yellowhead Pavement Marking Inc. to do pavement marking this spring.
Coun. Ivan Bonnell said he was not happy to see the price tag as the original budget amount was $120,000.
“I’d like to keep it at about $100,000 and see what we could get. I’m not in favour of increasing this line item in the budget,” Bonnell said, noting he wondered if savings could be made around not painting everything such as handicap parking spaces.
Responding Coun. Jason Ryll said the increase is due to a combination the cost of trying to deliver the service and supply chain issues.
“We are dealing with some environmental issues around this as well in that what we are allowed to use. What we could use in the 70s is deemed not environmentally friendly,” Ryll said, adding the paint used now erodes easier and the lines don’t last as long.
The costs, he said, are beyond the city’s control.
“We are going to deal with cost increases whether we like it or not,” Ryll said. “Do we want to look at a reduction of services?”
Coun. Craig Smith asked how much it would cost if the city’s public works did the work.
“We have a line on a paint sprayer out of Alberta and we’re looking at $9,000 to $12,000 for it, but at this time there is a shortage of paint so we do not want to buy it until we have paint,” said Rob Warnock, director of municipal services, adding the city is even having a tough time getting the one gallon pails of paint it uses normally for its own projects.
In a report to council, city staff noted the cost of paint has increased by 19.5 per cent.
Chief administrative officer Gary Muraca said the areas that would have to be cut back would be the “nice-t0-haves” such as the handicap stalls and storm drains because they are not regulatory.
The centre lines are required for safety, he added, noting having the work done by staff would also come with a cost.
Council passed a motion directing staff to go back and speak with the contractor to see what can be done if the budget for pavement marking is capped at $100,000. Staff will present a report to council within two weeks.
Ryll and Coun. Sheila Boehm voted against the motion.
“I don’t know how you cut back on painting lines,” Boehm said. “One of the biggest complaints we get is roads and lines is one of the them. I am not willing to go with that. I think this [money] needs to be found.
Boehm said she does not want to cut handicap spaces and storm drains from the painting program.
“I don’t think this is negotiable for me,” she said.
After the meeting public works manager Matt Sutherland said the repainting is usually done around May each year.
Looking back to 2017 the city approved a three-year pavement marking contract for the total tendered amount of $208,498, which would have been about $70,000 a year.