Tensions ran high at Monday’s County Council meeting.
Council was visibly frustrated after learning all five major projects Aquatera has on the go in the County are running behind schedule.
“In fairness to Aquatera, some of that has been out of their control,” said Leanne Beaupre, Reeve of the County of Grande Prairie.
Delays to the Clairmont Lagoon Discharge Project are largely to blame on unforeseen circumstances.
“Their engineering companies, one gentleman retired and then it was bought out and they moved on. So, that’s pushed back the timeline,” said Beaupre.
“They left the company. We were not aware of the details,” explained Bernd Manz, Aquatera CEO. “It meant a change in the design team close to the end of the design process.”
Beaupre says despite this, the Clairmont Lagoon Discharge Project has still been mishandled.
“We had been told originally that they were going to be able to tender it in November,” she said. “The update after Christmas was it was going to be tender ready in March, and now it’s going to be the end of May. You can see the frustration level. Every time we meet with them, there’s another reason why there’s a push back.”
She adds the delays could jeopardize future grant money for the projects.
“If we were to apply for another grant they may look at the fact that we haven’t even gotten a shovel in the ground, and we’re already applying for more money.”
Manz says they are still hoping to begin construction this summer on the $15 million Clairmont Lagoon Discharge Project, and then the Water to Wembley initiative this fall.
The Hawker Water Transmission Line, Mercer Hill Reservoir and Clairmont Regional Lift Station are all behind schedule.