/Discussion continues on value-added items 

Discussion continues on value-added items 

By Chad Ingram

Minden Hills councillors have still yet to decide on which “value-added items” will be included in the township’s arena project.
As previously reported, value-added items are those not included in the project’s base budget. The initial budget for the project was approximately $12.5 million. That number was increased to $12.75 million when the builders came to council requesting additional funding last winter. Under the project’s integrated project delivery design, the builder – Ottawa’s McDonald Bros. Construction – was responsible for tendering sub-trades, and any savings that were found were to be accrued in a joint contingency fund referred to as the “profit pool,” with those monies being split between the company and the township. The municipality would use any of its share to pay for some of these value-added items.
There are 17 items on that list, which are: the repainting of the existing community centre; a canopy at the rear entrance of the arena; a sprinkler system for the existing community centre and Scouts’ hall; advertising frames; a projector and screen; paving the secondary portion of the parking lot; artistic murals and reproductions; lobby furniture; fitness room access control; a retractable stage; court posts and nets; fitness room equipment; mobile storage wire shelving; sports balls, rackets, tables and chairs; office furniture and equipment; and an LED messaging centre.
A $130,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation will cover the costs for the stage, the posts and nets, the fitness room equipment, the wire shelving, and the sports balls, rackets, table and chairs. The estimated total for the remaining items is approximately $300,000, but is an estimate.
Window shades had been on the list, but as was pointed out during a June 25 council meeting, the shades had been intended for the building office space, but that office no longer contains windows.
“Some background on when the window was taken out of the office area?” asked Councillor Pam Sayne.
“I don’t know that information, off the top of my head, why it was removed,” said Mayor Brent Devolin, adding that he could look into it.
During last week’s meeting, council also approved approximately $30,000 in IT expenses for the new building, including making sure it’s completely outfitted with reliable wifi. That expense, however, came as a separate report, and Sayne, along with councillors Bob Carter and Jennifer Hughey, said it needed to be captured as part of the overall cost of the arena project.
“Through motions like this, we’re not really getting overall costs,” Sayne said.
“I think what is confusing for some of us is not being able to see it all together,” said Hughey. While councillors had been able to decide during last week’s meeting what value-added items would be included in the project, Hughey said she’d need to see a new, comprehensive list of items before she’d be able to make that decision.
There has also been some discussion of a canteen. While there is an area of the new building outfitted for a canteen, the budget does not include any  money for canteen equipment. There has been some suggestion by staff that vending machines could replace a traditional canteen, and Devolin has also pointed out the township still has the canteen equipment from the old arena in storage.
“The other item that needs to be added to this [list] is a canteen,” said Carter, who’s been adamant the new arena needs to contain a proper canteen.” . . . I’d rather have a canteen than a paved parking lot.”
A new, updated list of items, with quotes for items such as furniture, is to come back to the council table in July.
There will also be discussion about fundraising for the project. A fundraising committee with a goal of $750,000 had been struck last year, however, there was criticism from some members of council that the committee, which was supposed to be community-driven, contained too many members of council and municipal staff.
So far, there have been no fundraising activities.
“I have asked, since November, for thoughts and suggestions on that from
council,” Devolin said.  The project is on track to be completed the second week of August.