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'It is shocking,' Collingwood water treatment plant expansion to cost nearly double initial estimate

A much-needed expansion to Collingwood's water treatment plant will cost much more to build and take much longer to complete than first expected.

"We thought, well, it's going to be over budget, but we didn't all expect it would go from $120 million to, you know, almost $270 million," said Collingwood Mayor Yvonne Hamlin.

The timeline to complete the water treatment project has also been extended by about two years than initially projected, from 2026 to 2028.

A joint statement issued by Hamlin and New Tecumseth Mayor Richard Norcross calls the bids "shocking."

New Tecumseth depends heavily on the water from Collingwood for its residents. New developments in both communities could be affected until the addition at the plant is complete.

Supply and labour shortages and increased material costs are behind the sudden giant hike.

"It is the largest investment in Collingwood and New Tecumseth’s history and an enormous amount of work has happened to get us where we are today. However, our communities cannot fund the entire cost of the expansion," a release from the town stated.

"That means we won't do this project unless we have help from both senior levels of government, so I've opened up discussions, and our staff has been busy with the province and federal government," said Hamlin.

Kevin Blair is with Alair Homes and said his company shouldn't be affected too badly because they are currently focused on teardowns and rebuilds. Still, he said he feels for others looking for new builds.

"That's going to affect the costs of housing as well, so even as a buyer, I think it's going to be a bit of a shock to the system," Blair said.

"If we're going to meet our affordable housing targets, we have to be able to supply water to the homes," noted Hamlin.

"We are committed to finding a solution that gets the plant built quickly and without subjecting our communities to financial hardship," the Town stated.

The mayor said they have 60 days to accept one of the bids. Top Stories

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