Council must not repeat history

I have just read your story in the April 28 Rossland News about council’s rejection of a motion to create an advisory committee for the Columbia–Washington infrastructure project.

I have just read your story in the April 28 Rossland News about council’s rejection of a motion to create an advisory committee for the Columbia–Washington infrastructure project.

What I find totally illogical is that the city has a whole bunch of advisory committees, panels, commissions and task forces and yet seems paranoid about harnessing volunteer engineering knowledge and expertise available within the community.

Rossland has volunteer advisory groups covering topics such as: design review, sustainability, heritage, water stewardship, energy, housing and affordability, and economic development.

Rossland has a volunteer library board. Rossland has volunteer temporary committees like the museum select committee when there is a need.

For some reason however, council won’t use a temporary volunteer committee with appropriate knowledge and expertise to advise council and staff on engineering projects.

This is especially puzzling when the city got rid of it’s engineer just as it is embarking on a $6-million dollar project and has estimated expenditure requirements on infrastructure of about $40 million over the next 15 to 20 years.  (And that doesn’t include Rossland’s share of the regional sewage system upgrading).

What we appear to have today is the same situation that we had prior to starting the Ophir Creek project:  no qualified engineering staff; no project management and control systems and procedures in place; no contract management systems; council giving the go-ahead for a project based on a poor quality cost estimate and scope definition; insufficient below ground investigation; no relevant construction management experience; council rejection of volunteer help from a group of six highly experienced engineer. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture.

The result before was a leaking, incomplete reservoir that cost double the estimated cost and is still deficient and not complete. As Yogi Berra said: This is like ‘deja vu all over again.’

Concerned Rossland taxpayers should ask council what steps are being taken by council to ensure that we don’t repeat history?

Ken Holmes

Rossland