An external audit report of the Mattagami Water Plant shows the $80 million price tag is a reasonable one, despite all of the misconception about the project going over budget. Mayor Steve Black says that happened because there were some errors in the initial estimate, which set the expectation for a $60 million project at the very beginning in 2009. However Black says it became clear after seeing the detailed engineering work, and the tender bids come in, it wasn’t going to be a $60 million project. Black says if you add up the construction and engineering tenders, the original estimate was just fewer than $74 million. There was also some additions to the project, like linking to the primary plant, that added to the cost.
The $130,000 audit on the project shows the cost is about right, and Black says if council was to do the entire project over again knowing what they know now, the price wouldn’t change much. However Black says council was given some areas to improve for the next big project. He says it was the largest capital project the city has taken on in the modern time, so there is a lot of management that can be changed in terms of how the city approves change orders, and how many signatures are required. Black says that way everything will be checked and double checked as the process continues. He says the city will be making those changes on their other capital projects.