Well­ness Cen­tre con­tract ap­proved

Con­struc­tion to be­gin this spring on $30 mil­lion fa­cil­ity

The Labradorian - - Front Page - BY EVAN CAREEN

The Labrador Well­ness Cen­tre is one step closer to re­al­ity.

Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay town coun­cil awarded the con­tract val­ued at over $25 mil­lion for the build­ing of the fa­cil­ity at a meet­ing on Tues­day, Nov. 27.

“It’s a big project, its some­thing that we’re look­ing for­ward to,” Mayor Wally An­der­sen told The Labradorian af­ter the meet­ing. “There are con­cerns out there by peo­ple on how much it will cost us, so the onus is on us to make sure we build this won­der­ful fa­cil­ity and run it ef­fi­ciently at a low cost to the peo­ple.”

Coun­cil was told that it would cost the town ap­prox­i­mately $173,000 a year to op­er­ate, based on num­bers pro­vided by the YMCA, who will be run­ning the fa­cil­ity.

The con­struc­tion con­tract, val­ued at $25,313,418, was Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay Mayor Wally An­der­sen is happy to see the Labrador Well­ness Cen­tre project mov­ing for­ward.

awarded to Pomer­leau Inc., a Que­bec-based Con­struc­tion Com­pany. Coun­cil was told

four ap­pli­cants were in­volved in the re­quest for pro­pos­als and three made bids, with this be­ing the low­est.

The over­all cost is just over $30 mil­lion, with the fed­eral con­tri­bu­tion at $7.5 mil­lion, the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment kick­ing in $11.5 mil­lion, Nal­cor pro­vid­ing $1 mil­lion, and a HST re­bate will cover $4.1 mil­lion. The re­main­ing $6.5 mil­lion will be pro­vided by the town, with $5 mil­lion of that slated to come from do­na­tions and con­tri­bu­tions. An­der­sen said he thinks they’ll be able to raise the full $6.5 through do­na­tions.

“Our coun­cil is quite con­fi­dent with our cap­i­tal cam­paign com­mit­tee in place and the re­bate from the HST that we hon­estly truly be­lieve the town will come for­ward with what’s re­quired with­out any cost to the town,” he said.

An­der­sen said the cap­i­tal cam­paign com­mit­tee has been hard at work and he’s con­fi­dent they won’t have to bor­row the money or raise taxes to cover the $6.5 mil­lion.

He said hav­ing the Labrador Well­ness Cen­tre would help the town in a num­ber of ways, in­clud­ing draw­ing in pro­fes­sion­als.

“With this Well­ness Cen­tre we’re con­fi­dent, once peo­ple see this beau­ti­ful fa­cil­ity, it will en­tice them to come to our com­mu­nity,” he said.

The mo­tion to ap­prove the con­tract was unan­i­mous but some coun­cil­lors did have ques­tions be­fore the vote. Joe Trem­blett had a num­ber of ques­tions about the process and the po­ten­tial on­go­ing cost to tax­pay­ers, which were all an­swered in the meet­ing.

Coun­cil­lor Jackie Comp­ton Hobbs asked whether it would be pos­si­ble to stip­u­late that the con­trac­tor use lo­cal em­ploy­ees and was told it vi­o­lates the Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment Act to spec­ify that, but hope­fully the con­trac­tor will use lo­cal em­ploy­ees as it would re­duce over­head.

Con­struc­tion on the cen­tre will be­gin this spring and is ex­pected to be open in Jan­uary 2021.

EVAN CAREEN-THE LABRADORIAN

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