By Chris Pickup

Haldimand County’s public works department appears to have lost control of contractors doing county work.

Councillor Leroy Bartlett raised the issue in council committee Tuesday, in connection with Jarvis where new sidewalks are now not happening until October. 

It’s been postponed several times. What happens if it’s postponed again, and it falls out of the construction window?”

Staffer Tyson Haedrich said contractors are having issues staffing some of their crew. The new start date is now October 1. He said he has asked the contractor to work Saturdays to expedite the construction. “We need to crack the whip on the contractor.”

This is not the first time this issue has raised its head on county projects.

None of the councillors or staff appeared to know how to resolve the situation. Rob Shirton noted the county had moved up the budget to get tenders out earlier.

Ken Hewitt suggested maybe the county should specify end dates for the various projects instead of beginning dates, allowing contractors to begin the work earlier if the weather cooperated. 

“Expectations in Jarvis are not being met,” he said. “Construction is a busy season, it’s just not enough.”

CAO Don Boyle suggested maybe the county should highlight certain projects and offer bonuses for timely completion.

Dunnville water pressure

Bernie Corbett asked why Dunnville was losing water pressure after power outages.

Haedrich said the Dunnville water tower is drained while being painted. Water is pumped from the standpipe but in power outages the pump stops causing a slight drop in pressure. It is not a problem in emergency situations such as fire, he said.

They are starting to refill on Thursday and it should be okay by the end of the week, he added.