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City launches review of capital project management

City council has approved a $180,000 review of how the city manages capital projects.

The review was initiated following cost overruns on recent capital projects such as a $2 million overrun on the new Fire Hall #1 and $22 million on the downtown parkade. In addition, a report sent to council Monday details an addition $8.5 million needed for a variety of capital projects. However, “the broader issue of infrastructure re-investment and renewal is a council focus area,” according to a city news release.

A specific review of the downtown parkade project, promised to be delivered by the end of April, was not on the council agenda Monday.

The capital project management review is to consider the lifecycle management of multiple types of capital projects and will include various elements:

  • A review and analysis of current City of Prince George practices and processes
  • A review of best practices in comparative communities
  • Recommendations for a Project Management Policy and Framework and related administrative procedures
  • Recommendations regarding training and communication

“This is long overdue,” said Coun. Brian Skakun. “It’s really unfortunate we had to hit a bottom, if you will, to get to this point.

The city will be issuing a request for proposals and is aiming to have the work completed in 2021. Funding for the review will come from the city’s Northern Capital and Planning Grant Reserve Fund.

According to the City’s most-recent Annual Report, more than 130 capital projects were worked on in 2019, representing more than $52.5 million in expenditures that year. The “top 10” projects (by expenditure) included facilities, road rehabilitation, water and sewer projects, and vehicle replacements.

Recent reports to council have identified an ongoing gap in annual infrastructure reinvestment and the need for an integrated stormwater management plan to safeguard properties from flooding and erosion while protecting watersheds. These, and other, reports have been prepared against a backdrop of the overall aging of the City’s infrastructure and the challenges of adapting to climate change.

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