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Antigonish downtown intersection cost within $10,000 of budgeted price, says Mayor

The final numbers on the cost of the downtown intersection are within $10,000, as reported during Town of Antigonish council’s regular monthly public meeting Sept. 16.
The final numbers on the cost of the downtown intersection are within $10,000, as reported during Town of Antigonish council’s regular monthly public meeting Sept. 16. - Richard MacKenzie

Town’s reaction to Hurricane Dorian

ANTIGONISH, N.S. —

During Antigonish Town Council’s Sept. 16 meeting, Mayor Laurie Boucher noted final numbers were just about in for the Main/Hawthorne streets intersection work, which took place this past late spring and early summer.

“It was a big undertaking and project and I’m happy to say, with the guidance of our engineer Ken Proctor, the whole project is going to come in give-or-take $10,000; over or under with more of a probability it will be under our predicted budget,” Boucher told reporters after the meeting, reiterating what she said during the meeting.

Boucher said they have received some very good feedback about the finished project.

“People are saying they are really noticing a difference; it’s a great entrance to our town,” she said. “Thank you to staff for working so hard to make sure it was a success.”

Along with the positive feedback have come some questions about the project being way over-budget, a rumour Boucher intended to dispel with her earlier comments.

“A number of people came up and asked me if it was true we were $200,000 over-budget – so just to be able to dispel that – no, we are well within budget, give or take $10,000 and with a budget that size, $10,000 one way or the other, is something to be proud of,” she said.

Boucher was asked if, perhaps, the rumour could be confusing the fact the tender came back higher than anticipated; originally the town anticipated a price tag of around $400,000 but, during a Feb. 4, 2019 meeting, they approved a bid from B.D. Clifton Contracting Ltd., at a price tag of $560,115 plus tax.

“It could very well be, but when we approved the project we were very clear about the budget and, a number of times throughout the process, we were very clear about the budget,” she said.

“Those numbers have been out there – reported by The Casket, 989 XFM and 101.5 The Hawk – so there is no reason for anyone to think we were $200,000 over budget.” 

Hurricane Dorian

Proctor gave council a breakdown on how the town dealt with Hurricane Doiron which blasted the province Sept. 7.

Town of Antigonish electric utility workers were busy in several areas Sunday, including on Highland Drive.
Town of Antigonish electric utility workers were busy in several areas Sunday, including on Highland Drive.

He noted preparation and communication were keys in dealing with the storm and that it was fortunate the town didn’t receive the amount of rainfall forecasted, at times.

Boucher was echoing those thoughts with reporters after the meeting.

“Very proud of our crew, our staff… from the CAO on down,” she said.

“Communication, preparation, everyone seemed to have their role to play in being prepared for the storm … during and after.

“We’ve heard a lot of comments from the community talking about communication leading up to and all throughout the storm; just to let people know what was going on and some of the danger zones.”

Asked about some of what was learned, Boucher reflected on Proctor’s comments about staggering shifts and setting up a separate area for people to rest as opposed to sharing a space where all the calls were coming in.

“Other than that, I think it went very well; it was a good test for our systems,” she said.

“We were fortunate we didn’t get the amount of rain we were expecting. With climate change the way it is, we will see these a little more frequently than we have in the past and I’m very confident our staff will be able to handle what is coming next.”

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