GSI earns Colliery dam contract

NANAIMO – Sole-sourced contract awarded to fix century-old structures if council ultimately chooses option.

The city is prepared to sole-source the contract for Colliery dam remediation.

Nanaimo city council voted 7-2 to sole source to GeoStabilization International if it chooses to move ahead with an alternative overtopping option to address potential safety hazards at the dams.

Councillors Wendy Pratt and Diane Brennan were opposed to the move, which Brennan said provides absolutely no protection to taxpayers.

Pratt made it clear she’ll vote against anything to do with GSI, frustrated with how communication has gone with a process she no longer wants to be a part of.

Councillor Thorpe said he’d normally be opposed to sole sourcing, calling it a dangerous precedent but would accept it in this case because sole sourcing is needed to meet timelines the city is under by the Dam Safety Section.

Coun. Jim Kipp said he’d support the motion with the belief GSI will stay with prices they have quoted and “will only raise them as staff adds work to their plate.”

During discussion at an open meeting Monday, city manager Ted Swabey said increasing spillway height will likely be required on top of dam hardening to meet dam safety regulations and the cost will be more expensive than $2 million. A report is expected back on the GSI dam hardening option and a decision on which remediation route will be taken has to be made on June 1.