By Chad Ingram
Published Nov. 24 2016
Minden Hills council will award thecontract for the design and construction of the township's new fire hall along Highway 35to Huntsville's Greystone Construction after receiving a report from fire chiefDoug Schell during a Nov. 24 meeting.
As Schell explained the township had twointerested candidates who met the requirements of the tender for the job.However prior to site visit one contractor opted out due to othercommitments.
So Greystone was the only company to bid onthe job invoking the township's sole-source procurement policy.
“Staff thought it would be best if we didsome comparisons with other buildings” Schell said adding he'd also receiveda cost-per-square-foot estimate from the township's building department “so weknew roughly a figure we should be looking at.”
The figure – a total of nearly $1.9million including taxes – fell withinthat range.
Staff's recommendation was that thecontract go to Greystone which has completed a number of projects inHaliburton County including condos in Haliburton Village and the county's EMSbase along Highway 35.
Councillor Pam Sayne had a number ofconcerns.
“Having only one tender come back is a bitof a concern” Sayne said. “We have to do a better job in doing our requestsfor proposals. We've got to do more competition.”
Sayne a home inspector also wanted moreinformation on energy efficiencies that could be incorporated into the buildingand what the cost savings of those measures might be over time.
However she was outnumbered by hercolleagues who wanted to get going on the project.
“I've been directly involved in thisprocess for six long years” said Deputy-reeve Cheryl Murdoch.
Preliminary studies on the construction ofnew fire hall were done during the previous term of council and Murdoch saidthe new building should have been constructed during that term as well.
“What we're asking for here is not the TajMahal” she said adding that Greystone had a good reputation in the communityand had done a good job on the EMS project. “They do good work. They come in ontime they come in on budget. We've got two years left in this term. To methis is a priority we complete the building in that time.”
Chief administrative officer/treasurerLorrie Blanchard said the township has some $1.2 million in its capitalreserves for construction of the fire hall and that after utilizing some otherreserve funds there would be a shortfall of approximately $540000 on theproject.
She'd drawn up scenarios for the repaymentof a loan but council will not make a decision about how the shortfall will befunded until its 2017 budget discussions.
Reeve Brent Devolin said it appears thetownship will have a surplus for 2016 and that perhaps that surplus could beused to further reduce the shortfall.
“I think we're confident that we're goingto have a surplus it's just the size and scale of it [that's unclear]”Devolin said.
Blanchard said if the shortfall figure getssmall enough the township could likely fund it internally without turning toa bank loan.
A contract with Greystone will be drawn upand come back to the council table for approval.