Dover City Council will reconsider a vote to deny additional funding for the Horsepond Road electrical substation.
A proposal to spend additional money to finish upgrading an electrical substation on Horsepond Road was defeated by a tie vote during Monday’s City Council meeting, but council members later agreed to reconsider the proposal at its next session.
The tie resulted from Council President David L. Bonar being unable to attend the meeting; a split vote on a council agenda item automatically defeats the proposal.
At issue was the need to spend an additional $1.3 million on the project, which already is underway; the project needs to be completed by spring 2014 so it would not interfere with work on the Calpine project, City Manager Scott Koenig said.
If the work was not approved, the Horsepond Road project would be delayed into 2015, Koenig said.
“The concern is that by completing this project, we improve the reliability of the substation,” Koenig said. “That’s one of the things we bank on, the complete reliability of our system.”
However, council member Timothy A. Slavin zeroed in on the proposal as another example of the city needing to spend more money on projects than originally funded.
“How did we end up so far off?” Slavin asked.
Koenig noted some of the increases resulted from higher costs for raw materials and engineering services, but in response to questioning from Councilman James L. Hutchison Sr., said the city needs to do a better job in estimating costs at the beginning of a project.
That approach would result in higher costs up front because it would require more detailed work at the outset, but it also could save costs by not having to request additional money once a project is underway, Koenig said.
“We need to do a better job of project management,” he said.
Koenig said he would return at council’s March 24 meeting with additional details on funding needed to complete the Horsepond substation project.