By Sue Tiffin
Minden Hills councillors responded with enthusiasm including one “Hallelujah, yes!” upon approving the contract for the supply and installation of fitness equipment at the S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena. The contract was awarded to Johnson Health Technologies Canada Commercial Inc., or Matrix, in the amount of $76,831, within the budget of $78,000. The project is being funded by a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
The awarding of the contract means the fitness centre in the newly built arena will be able to be used by the public, possibly by January. Currently the space is being used for what Mayor Brent Devolin referred to as “temporary storage.”
Six bids, of which five met evaluation criteria, were received after a request for proposal was issued at the end of June with a July 28 closing date.
“Through this process, staff were looking for proposals that brought an inclusive concept for the various users in the facility and the community, including emphasis on technology and accessibility,” reads a report to council on Oct. 28 from Craig Belfry, director of community services. Belfry said Matrix offered two options, and option B slightly reduced cardio options but took into consideration requests staff had received from public and users for more weights.
“We thought it was a good mix,” said Belfry, noting the equipment has technology including wi-fi connected entertainment apps and the warranties look good. Training would also be available.
Belfry said racks have been put in place for groups to move their supplies and that discussions would be had regarding larger items.
Staff have spent approximately $6,000 on equipment and racks in 2021, reads Belfry’s report.
A grant of $150,000 for facility initiatives was originally received from OTF, that money funding equipment such as retractable basketball backstops and a gym roll-up divider curtain, with remaining funds to be spent on items including sports balls, rackets, tables, chairs and a retractable stage.