Nanaimo council approves contractor for Colliery dam spillway

NANAIMO – Second meeting sees contract awarded for Copcan Civil Ltd.

Nanaimo city council held a second meeting Wednesday to award a contract to construct an auxiliary spillway at Colliery Dam Park after the first meeting ended over protest signs in the gallery.

Council was set to vote on a cost-plus contract to Copcan Civil Ltd., but before the vote on the question could be called, Coun. Bill Bestwick introduced an amendment that would allow council to re-examine whether the spillway route was the least expensive and least invasive route possible and to make further recommendations to alter the spillway route to save trees.

City staff said such a requirement could cause work delays of up to six weeks.

Councillors Jerry Hong and Jim Kipp supported the amendment, with Hong saying he would only support awarding the contract if he got “that warm fuzzy feeling inside” that the amendment would give him.

“If this motion is defeated, I’ll introduce another motion and if that motion is defeated, I give up and say we let them sue the crap out of us and we fight it until we die,” said Coun. Gord Fuller, who also supported the amendment.

After nearly one hour of discussion Bestwick’s amendment was defeated and the motion to award the contract to commence work on the auxiliary spillway was carried by Thorpe, Pratt, Brennan, Bestwick and the mayor. Fuller, Hong and Kipp opposed. Coun. Bill Yoachim did not attend Wednesday’s meeting.

The province’s deadline to have the spillway mostly complete is Nov. 15.