Ten per cent shaved off cost of Gan town hall addition
GANANOQUE – The low bidder on the construction of an addition to town hall has agreed to shave 10 per cent off his price after negotiations with the town.
Shellee Fournier, chief administrative officer, said Cupido Construction agreed to reduce its $3.4-million bid after the town proposed that it use cheaper materials in the two-storey addition to the 186-year-old building.
Town council last month asked Fournier and its architect to negotiate a better price for the addition after the three bids for the work came in at close to a million dollars over estimates. Council had estimated the cost of renovations to the historic town hall and a 9,106 sq,-ft. addition on the back at $2.5 million. But the three bids ranged from $3.4-3.7-million.
Councillor Jeff Girling said the 10-per-cent saving is not good enough, and a far cry from the $1 million saving needed to meet the budget.
“Where did we go from cutting a million dollars off the cost to 10 per cent?” Girling asked council on Tuesday. “Ten per cent is not good enough for me.”
Fournier said that the contractor had to keep his reduction to within 15 per cent of his original bid. Otherwise, she said, the town would have to re-tender the entire project.
Girling, the most vocal of two council opponents to the addition, said the more than $3-million price tag proves what critics of the plan have been saying all along.
For years critics have been telling town council that its $2.5-million estimate was far too low, Girling said. But council members ignored them, he said.
“It’s not going to be $2.5 million, it’s not even going to be $3 million – it’s going to $3.2, $3.3 million without any extra costs thrown in,” he said.
Girling again advocated that council seriously consider scrapping the addition idea and look at using other buildings instead. In the past, Girling has suggested such options as using the library for municipal offices and moving the library to the Kinsmen Centre. Council could hold its meetings upstairs at the arena, he has suggested.
“At some point we need to have a discussion about whether there is a better way of finding a home for the town hall that isn’t going to cost us that amount of money,” he said. “We can do better than this.”
Councillor Brian Brooks said Girling is wrong when he says the town hall addition would cost $3.2 million. That cost also includes the price of needed renovations to the existing town hall, which was built in 1831 as a private residence.
Brooks said the work on the town hall would have to be done whether the addition is built or not.
As part of their negotiations on the price, the town has asked the architect to break out the cost of the addition and the cost of renovations to the old building, he said.
Once that is done, the town will have the actual cost of the addition, Brooks added.
Fournier said Cupido and the architect are still working out the actual cost of the revised bid, but that it would be available for the next council meeting on Dec. 19.
At that time council will vote on whether to proceed with the addition or not.