| Sep 20, 2012

Possible changes to municipal fire building plans

Council reviewed possible changes to plans for a new fire hall / municipal office building in Northbrook. The changes included moving the mezzanine area to above the training room, which would open up more space in the truck bays below. The plan noted that to make the change the peak of the building would have to be moved to the centre of the building so that a second story could be created above the main floor office. In his email Casey Cuddy noted that the change would “give us more useable space with little additional cost.”

He added that if needed, an office could be moved to the second floor in order to make more space for washrooms/showers and lockers on the main floor.

Council members reviewed the plans and received them for information and requested a conceptual arrangement of how the changes would look on paper with the suggested addition.

“We really need to get going on this,” Deputy Reeve Bill Cox said. Councilor Fritsch also requested a formal agreement from Casey once the final changes have been decided on.

Asset Management Plan Funding Program

Councilors reviewed a couple of offers sent to the mayor by consulting firms offering their services to assist with the township’s asset management plans. The offers coincide with the announcement by the Province of Ontario on August 12about infrastructure funds that will be available through the Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative (MIII)

The Province requires that municipalities seeking infrastructure funding through the initiative prepare detailed assessment management plans before they will be eligible for the funding. The province is making $60 million in funding available to small municipalities over the next three years for investment in roads, bridges, water, waste water and social housing infrastructure through the MIII.

To support small municipalities in the development of the required asset management plans the provincial government will also be providing funding to approximately 350 smaller communities to help create a plan.

Council members reviewed offers from Genivar, Jewell Engineering and Infrastructure Solutions who each offered to assist with the township’s management plans. When two of those companies were asked by staff township staff for an estimate they replied that they needed to wait until further information was made available.

Councilor Helen Yanch pointed to the October 22 deadline for an expression of interest for the funding and said, “We really need to make a decision about this tonight.”

After much discussion Deputy Reeve Cox wondered if hiring a company would in effect be “putting the horse before the cart,” seeing as it would not be known how much infrastructure grant money would be coming in prior to hiring a firm to come up with a plan. Reeve Henry Hogg suggested doing the application in house instead of hiring it out. “That way we can submit an application, do the plan in house, and still be eligible for the grants and save ourselves some money.”

In the end a motion was passed to do jut that.


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