Car­bon­ear changes de­pot plans

Cost to build on Goff Av­enue too costly for town: mayor

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

The Town of Car­bon­ear is scrap­ing its plan to build a new mu­nic­i­pal de­pot, cit­ing un­ex­pect­edly high con­struc­tion costs.

The orig­i­nal plan was to build a new de­pot on a par­cel of land the town pur­chased on Goff Av­enue in 2014 for $180,000. But ac­cord­ing to Mayor Ge­orge Butt Jr., ini­tial es­ti­mates from a con­sul­tant sug­gested build­ing there would cost $4-5 mil­lion. When the town down­sized the con­cept, the bud­get es­ti­mate was be­tween $3-4 mil­lion. The town’s own bud­get for the build was ap­prox­i­mately $1 mil­lion.

Now, the town has agreed to pur­chase a Pike’s Lane prop­erty owned by Ge­orge Rowe of Land and Sea Weld­ing Ltd. in Car­bon­ear for $800,000. Coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­proved the pur­chase at its April 7th meet­ing. The pur­chase will re­quire the town to take out a bank loan. It sub­mit­ted a re­quest to the pro­vin­cial govern­ment ask­ing to ex­empt the pur­chase from the Pub­lic Ten­der­ing Act.

“Our su­per­in­ten­dent checked it out, and we had it checked out by the con­sult­ing group … and it fits our pur­pose per­fectly,” the mayor told The Com­pass Fri­day. “

At last Mon­day’s coun­cil meet­ing, town chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer Cyn­thia Davis said the con­sul­tant gave a pre­lim­i­nary es­ti­mate of $1.53 mil­lion for set­ting up the de­pot on Pike’s Lane. This fig­ure in­cludes ren­o­va­tions, the pur­chase price for the land and the $94,500 con­sul­tant fee. That fig­ure could run any­where from 30 per cent lower or higher than the es­ti­mated to­tal, ac­cord­ing to the con­sul­tant.

Pub­lic works di­rec­tor Brian O’Grady in­di­cated at last Mon­day’s coun­cil meet­ing that he con­sid­ers the $1.53 mil­lion fig­ure to be at the higher end of what town might even­tu­ally pay.

“It says plus or mi­nus, but I no­ticed in some of (the con­sul­tant’s) es­ti­mates, he’s es­ti­mated cer­tain rates that I think are at the up­per end, so I think it’s some­what of a se­cure or safe bid in their re­gard.”

Davis said at the same meet­ing there are items the town will re­view to de­cide whether or not they will be in­cluded in the gen­eral con­tract ten­der.

“There’s some items there, smaller items, that we could pos­si­bly look at or get quotes on if it’s be­low the pub­lic ten­der ceil­ing that we could prob­a­bly get some bet­ter pric­ing,” said the CAO.

Butt said there is ad­di­tional land on Pike’s Lane in­cluded in the pur­chase that the town will even­tu­ally look to use as the lo­ca­tion of a waste­water treat­ment fa­cil­ity. As for the land on Goff Av­enue, the mayor said it would be sold.

AN­DREW ROBIN­SON/THE COM­PASS

The Town of Car­bon­ear has agreed to pur­chase a prop­erty on Pike’s Lane. The build­ing will be ren­o­vated to serve as a new mu­nic­i­pal de­pot.

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