When you unearth a piece of town infrastructure as old as the wastewater line, you can only hope the records accurately what reflects lies beneath.

In this case, it wasn't.

Now, an additional $700,000 is sought to complete the Hwy. 22-Riverview syphon project, and really, there is no choice for council to approve it next week.

Of the funds requested, $465,000 is for additional pipe material and labour, and $130,000 is for additional park and surface restoration, Drew Hyndman, executive director on Development and Infrastructure, told town council at its Apr. 15 committee-of-the-whole meeting.  An additional 15 per cent is a $105,000 contingency. 

The contingency fund from the original budget was spent for hydrovacing required due to the wastewater line emergency.

The funds requested would come from the town's $10.6 million operating reserve but will eventually be recovered from offsite levies, collected for new development.

Hyndman says administration takes no comfort in requesting the additional $700,000. He calls it an extremely complex project that is critical to complete.

"We do not like to be in this position where we're coming and requesting additional money form council," said Hyndman, "However, in this situation based on the proposal that we have before you, we're confident as growth proceeds, we'll have this balance of the $10.6 million returned."

CAO Mike Derricott says the town doesn't want to end up with projects that cut corners on quality, service delivery or the longevity sought.

"I think partly what you're hearing is instead of compromising what we need to be a 50-70 year piece of infrastructure by trying to maintain costs, we felt the better interest of the taxpayer was to come forward and make sure we can complete the appropriate repair that would ensure the structure would be in place for the long-term."

Despite having a strong track record of bringing in projects on budget, there's a string of current project seeing overruns or costly changes in scope.

Next on the agenda was information on an upcoming request for an additional $200,000 for a Jumpstart Multi-Use Court expected to begin construction near the SLS Centre in June. The week previous, council heard a request for an additional $619,210.75 for Historic Ranche and Glenbow pathway improvements due to a change in scope.

Doing some quick math, Councillor Marni Fedeyko expressed concern that the additional cost being faced by residents for these three projects amount to $1.5 million.

"One-offs don't sound terrible but when you start to lump them all together, my concern is that we're starting to sit at elevated numbers that we really know that we can afford or where that money is coming from, considering that I believe during the budget process it was dictated by our CFO that our reserves were not necessarily overly healthy at that point."

She is eager to see the budget adjustments, expected before tax notices are mailed on May 30.

Hyndman says they are working with consultants and will be staging their capital projects differently in the future to reduce risk.

Council is expected to formally discuss the funding requests at its Apr. 22 regular meeting.