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Langley City dog park construction prompts lawsuit and countersuit

The contractor is suing the City, and the City is seeking damages from the contractor
A dog owner closes a double gate at the entrance to the off-leash park at 5257 197 Street in Langley City shortly after its opening in the fall of 2020. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley City is being sued for $385,000 by the contractor that built the new dog park at Brydon Park, and is counter-suing for up to $96,000.

The lawsuit was launched in September by Western Watershed Designs, a construction company that does work in civil contracting, habitat restoration, and park development.

Western Watershed was the winning bidder in 2019 when the City called for contractors to complete a new off-lease dog park near 197th Street and 53rd Avenue.

The work was to include tree removal, earthworks, drainage work, putting up a fence, creating a new path, and placing site furnishings, according to a claim by Western Watershed filed with the Supreme Court of B.C. in Vancouver.

Western alleges that its contract with the City included compensation for additional or extra work outside of the original agreed scope of construction.

Construction was delayed thanks to a wet, cold winter through late 2019 and into 2020, as well as multiple changes made to the project by the City while construction was underway, Western Watershed claims.

The lawsuit also alleges that the City didn’t do geotechnical work on the Brydon site ahead of time, leaving Western Watershed to extrapolate requirements from drawings.

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When they began construction, the company found out that ground conditions were not what they had expected. The soil on the site was soft, organic, and subject to “ground water inundation,” and significant changes had to be made to the way the park was being constructed.

Between the changes and delays outside of Western Watershed’s control, they say they racked up $385,808.69 in expenses, and the company wants the City to pay that cost, plus interest.

The City has responded to Western Watershed’s claim, and says Western has been fully paid per the terms of the contract.

The City alleges that Western Watershed was offered a chance to delay the start of construction so the work wouldn’t have been done over the winter, but the company turned that offer down.

Western Watershed should have inspected the site in person rather than relying on drawings to make its bid, the City argues in its civil claim.

The City also launched a counterclaim, saying that Western Watershed was late in completing the work on the dog park, and the City wants between $36,000 and $95,000 in damages from Western, depending on how late the court finds the project’s completion was under the contract.

None of the allegations in the claims have been proven in court.

No trial dates or hearings before a judge are yet listed on the provincial B.C. courts website.

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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