Jeff Green | Jul 27, 2006
Feature Article - July 27, 2006
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Central Frontenac Council spends the big bucks
by Jeff Green
Central Frontenac Public Works Manager Bill Nicol has been busy lately, working on several high profile projects that are slated for completion this year.
Two major initiatives: the reconstruction of 36 km of Road 38, and a new fire hall to replace the crumbling hall in Sharbot Lake , were brought to council’s attention at their single July meeting this past Tuesday morning.
Nicol recommended that the tender for the project be awarded to Lafarge Paving Construction (Eastern) Limited, which was one of the three companies that ended up bidding on the job. (A total of eight companies contacted the township and received an information package and job specifications.) The contract with Lafarge Paving has an upset limit of $5,757,844.29 and the project as a whole, including engineering construction and applicable taxes is $6,034,806.
The township’s application for a COMRIF (Canada Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund) was accepted this past spring, so the federal and provincial governments will each pay $2,011,602 towards the project, leaving the township on the hook for an identical amount.
In presenting his recommendation to council, Nicol acknowledged that a few items in the construction plans had been altered so the project will remain within the confines of the COMRIF grant ceiling, to prevent the township from having to pay 100% of any of the costs.
These items included a second coat of paint on the lines along the new highway, and interlocking paving on the island where the highway meets the Wagarville Road in Parham.
Although some councillors expressed the opinion that some of the extra items should be considered, Nicol’s recommendation was accepted unanimously as it stood.
“When do you think construction will start,” Mayor Bill MacDonald asked Nicol afterwards. “We have a meeting set for Monday, and they will go ahead after that,” Nicol replied.
Council opts for pre-engineered fire hall at Wagner Road
There was considerably more debate about a recommendation that the township pay $30,000 to J.L. Richards to put together a tender proposal package for a pre-engineered, 6-bay fire hall at the township works site at Wagner Road and Road 38, about 1.5 kilometres south of Sharbot Lake.
Three companies submitted proposals, ranging in price from $61,000 to $116,000, to do engineering work for a conventional fire hall building, which would be completed for a total price in the range of $1,000,000.
The pre-engineered building is expected to cost somewhere around $450,000 to build, with a total cost, including the engineering costs, coming in around the $500,000 mark. That is the amount council estimated for the fire hall in this year’s budget.
There was little said by councilors about the pre-engineered building option, but a debate over how the proposed location of the fire hall was determined, ensued.
Councilor Jack Nicolson said, “I think that a scattergram should be done to determine where the majority of calls to the Oso department come from before settling on Wagner Road . I don’t think this should take very long to complete, but before we commit to a location we should have this information.”
Councilor Janet Gutowski concurred with Nicolson. “I really feel Councilor Nicolson is right,” she said, “we are planning for the next 50 years. I think it would be valuable to have something on the record.”
“What other land does the township own that would be suitable for a fire hall?” asked Councilor Frances Smith.
“I’ve not had one firefighter, not a single one, contact me, as mayor, to tell me they don’t think the Wagner Road site is suitable,” said Mayor Bill MacDonald, “and the fire chief has said Wagner Road would work as the fire hall.”
“I have also talked to the fire chief,” said Councilor Gutowski, “and he said Wagner Road was suitable, but I think we need something on the public record to support this.”
Councilor Logan Murray brought another issue to the table, reiterating his previously held proposals. “I think we should look at design and build on two buildings, for Oso and Olden,” he said.
Township Clerk-Administrator Heather Fox then informed council that the purchase of land in Mountain Grove for the Olden Fire Hall, which at this point is not slated to be built this year, has not yet been completed.
“We could put a hold on that purchase,” she said, “because if we are going to do something for one fire hall we should do the same thing for the other.”
In the end, the proposal to pay $30,000 to prepare a tender for a pre-engineered building at the Wagner Road township works site was approved, with Councilors Gutowski and Murray voting against it.
Grader, plow, and new heating system
Council wasn’t finished spending money just yet. For $164,975.34 a new plow truck will be purchased from Kingston Truck Centre. The 2006 budget includes $195,000 for a new truck.
Bill Nicol also recommended that council purchase a new grader, at a cost of $234,400. There was $100,000 put into reserves for a grader this year, and in 2004 $50,000 was put into a reserve for a grader, but Bill Nicol said that two of the three graders that council currently owns are 1991 models which are at the end of their projected useful life spans. In his written report, he said “Currently we are experiencing more down time than usual, which is putting us behind in our maintenance of gravel surface roads.”
It was proposed that the new grader be purchased and that an extra $100,000 be taken from general reserves and put back in when the 2007 budget is done.
Councilor Bill Snyder asked when the new grader would be delivered, and Bill Nicol said it would be September.
“September could turn into October,” Snyder replied, “and we don’t use the graders in the winter. Why don’t we wait until next year and get by with what we have until then?”
The new grader purchase was approved, with Bill Snyder casting the only dissenting vote.
Council approved buying a new propane heating system to replace the antiquated electric heaters in the Soldiers Memorial Hall (Oso) at a cost of $11,682 for the new system and $500 for the removal of the old heaters from Octagon Heating Services. There was $15,000 budgeted for such purposes in the 2006 budget.
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