Dawson company loses sewage plant contract

The company that's building Dawson City's new sewage treatment plant, Corix, has terminated its contract with Han Construction.

The company that’s building Dawson City’s new sewage treatment plant, Corix, has terminated its contract with Han Construction.

“We’ve had a bit of a contract dispute with one of our main contractors up there, Han Construction,” Jack Touhey, the Victoria-based company’s vice president of public and government affairs, in a telephone interview Tuesday.

“So we’ve terminated that contract with them. But we’re far enough along in the project that we just intend to manage the balance of the subcontractors required to get the job done ourselves.”

Touhey would not elaborate on the dispute.

In October, Corix owed Han more than $2 million, according to Gerry Innes, a subcontractor who supplied steel for the project.

At the time, Touhey told the News that: “We are in negotiations with (Han Construction) about the cost of their portion of the construction. There are some disputes about costs.”

Han Construction, which is owned by the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation, has declined to comment on the deal for now, but is planning to talk to media about the issue next week.

“A lot of the work that they were doing has been completed, like the concrete work and so on and so forth. So the substantial part of their contract was complete,” said Touhey.

The contract dispute has set the project back a few weeks.

But the weather has also slowed the project down, he said.

“We continue to do work behind the scenes so that we can hit the ground running when the weather is appropriate.”

Corix had planned to have the building clad against the weather by now and interior work underway.

Now they say the building should be closed in by the end of February.

Corix is aiming to have the entire project finished by June 2012.

The contractor may also be in trouble with Dawson’s Heritage Advisory Committee.

The original submission met the heritage standards.

But Corix has changed the project design three times and changed the building’s frame from wood to steel.

The company will have to prove to the heritage committee that it will be able to cover the steel girders to make them look as if they were made of wood.

Contact Chris Oke at chriso@yukon-news.com