As this is the week that the City of Kamloops held their Let's Talk meeting on the 2013 budge, it would be nice of them to explain some items from the 2009 to 2012 budget concerning the Valleyview bike path.
This project went from $1.8 million at conception, to $4.2 million in 2009 as the budgeted cost, to $5.9 million as per a newspaper account of June 2012 and a final cost of $6.1 million as per David Trawin, the chief administrative officer for City of Kamloops.
This was for a 600-metre six-foot-wide bike path with chain-link fencing, cement road dividers, some retaining walls and a small overbuilt bridge - at a cost of $6.1 million. The most expensive part, as per the City's information, was $3.5 million for 500 metres of chain-link fence, cement road dividers, some retaining walls and a six-foot-wide paved path.
Compare this to the Hillside Drive North project that connected to Summit Drive and was constructed around the same time. It was around 1.3 kilometres with a huge rock cut, steep grading, street lighting, sidewalks and a treed boulevard, along with a two-lane paved road and what appears a provision for another two lanes in the future.
The cost was $9.6 million. This equates to $10,166 per metre for 600 metres of bike path compared to $7,384 per metre for a full-blown, fully serviced two-lane main transportation street.
City representatives have told me that most of the cost (of the bike path) was paid for by the two upper levels of government, that it cost more than expected and that they would learn from it. The tax payer still paid for all of it no matter where it came from.
As far as I can ascertain the City paid out about $3.3 million for this project, good for about a three per cent raise on home taxes.
Something happened here that needs a better explanation than we, the taxpayer, have received so far.
This project needs a full audit from start to finish with all of the players and contractors named. If you think it doesn't, please tell me why 600 metres of a six-foot-wide paved trail costing $6.1 million is a good deal?
Are overruns like this the reason our taxes go up every year?