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Canadian Publications Agreement No. 40727545

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Trent Lakes' new Public Works Depot on hold

 

May 05, 2017

 

BY TERRY GILLIS

 

At the Tuesday (May 2) Trent Lakes Council meeting, CAO Lois O’Neill-Jackson again presented Council with a report on the Centralized Public Works Depot (as was reported in the April 21 edition of the Lakefield Herald). This time, the CAO was requesting direction in regards to the construction documents and contract administration for the new depot.

At a previous meeting (April 18) Council had received a delegation from Chamberlain Architects regarding the proposed design of the public works facility. At that time, Council appeared to be in support of the design as proposed.

In her report, CAO O’Neill-Jackson noted that since Chamberlain Architects was the company that prepared the draft design initially and is extremely familiar with the proposed project and the requirements of the Municipality for this project that Council may wish to engage them to carry off the next phases of the project which will enable the project to proceed to the drawing and specification stage immediately.

Councillor Dick Persson said that he “wanted to take a step back a little.” He was concerned that the cost and size estimates provided by Chamberlain Architects in the proposal had almost doubled from approximately $2.6M to $5M.

Councillor Persson made a motion to defer the final decision until after a committee consisting of staff and two Council Members for the purpose of investigating (or finding) a more cost effective solution could be established.

Deputy Mayor Ron Windover seconded Councillor Persson’s motion.

Mayor Matthews asked Public Works Superintendent, Ivan Coumbs to speak to the proposed size of the new depot. Mr. Coumbs explained that it only made sense to consolidate the three current Public Works facilities into one central location and to have a building large enough to house the current and future equipment used in that department. He noted that waiting will only end up costing the Municipality more.

In answer to why the size of the depot doubled, Mr. Coumbs explained that with the probability of population and infrastructure growth, future equipment requirements would necessitate a larger building.

Mayor Matthews said that they (as a Council) have to “build for the future, not the present.” She also said that “we want a professional building that is going to serve the community now, and into the future.”

Deputy Mayor Windover told Council that he had been talking to a lot of people and the he “believes it (centralized public works depot) is in the wrong place. I think it would be better on 36 than up here.”

Mayor Matthews responded that she wished Deputy Windover had expressed his opinion a year ago, “when we were discussing this.”

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Deputy Windover replied to Mayor Matthews that he didn’t want to have to be told what he should have done.

Mayor Matthews stated that Council has already made the decision (of the location).

Ivan Coumbs told Council, before the vote, that they can’t build the depot any smaller and that it’s not going to get any cheaper.

Councillor Persson’s motion to defer the decision and to set up a committee was carried.

Later in the meeting, under the “Other Business” section of the Agenda, Mayor Matthews asked if any Council Members wanted to sit on the new Public Works Depot Committee. She said that she wanted to be on the committee and after a moment Councillor Persson said he would sit on the committee as well.