Council awards $159,000-contract for Ameliasburgh park washrooms

(Gazette file photo)




Construction on new washrooms for Ameliasburgh’s Roblin Lake Park will move forward.

Council supported a motion awarding the contract for the work to Standard Paving Limited in the amount of $159,194.69 plus HST. Council also approved increasing the capital budget for the project by $97,727.55 as the lowest tendered bid exceeded the original capital budget for the project. The facilities would replace ones lost by fire and include washrooms, change rooms, and storage/mechanical rooms.

The motion passed in a recorded vote of 14–2 with councillors Jamie Forrester and Kevin Gale voting in opposition.

After councillors remarked it was a hefty price to pay for washrooms, engineering, development and works commissioner Robert McAuley explained that the original plan had been to put an addition on the existing canteen building at the park. While that plan was being developed, an existing washroom building at the site was destroyed by a fire.

“The insurer gave us an approximate replacement value and that became what we decided to target on, replacing the existing washrooms,” he said “It turned out that that was far insufficient because those existing washrooms were on a holding tank and now they have to be on a septic system.”

He said that required new water lines and a brand new washroom when the original budget only contemplated adding a couple of stalls to the existing canteen building.

“It’s a complete change in project scope,” he said.

A staff report presented to council at Tuesday’s meeting says the construction budget for the project was $80,168.97 after pre-tender and tendering fees were subtracted from the capital budget of $85,000. The previously existing bathrooms were destroyed by fire in May 2017. It became clear the new building could not be attached to the existing canteen because of the larger footprint required due to a need for storage/mechanical rooms. The larger footprint would interfere with the existing features of the park and the decision was made to construct a standalone building. The new building requires a new septic tank and connection to the existing septic bed, as well as new potable water and electrical connections. They wouldn’t have been required under the original plan to add to the canteen building where those connections already exist. The low tender from Standard Paving was $79,025.72 over budget. With a recommended 10 per cent contingency of $15,900, an additional amount of more than $97,000 was needed to complete the project.

The municipality’s insurance adjuster gave an estimate of $78,087 for the value of the washrooms lost to fire. The County’s deductible for property insurance claims is $100,000 and the municipality self-insures losses under that amount. As a result $78,087 of the budget for the washrooms will come from the insurance deductible/claims line within the 2018 budget. That’s in addition to previously budgeted funding of $85,000 and additional funding of $11,988 — both of which would be drawn from the County’s capital sustainability reserve — bringing the total funding for the project to $175,054.

Councillor Dianne O’Brien said it was a steep price, but the facilities are needed.

“It’s a lot of money and I hate to spend this much money, but it’s more than just a washroom,” she said. “It’s a change room, it’s a storage room … we do need to have a washroom.”

Forrester opposed the expense, saying the municipality could investigate less costly options.

“I do support putting washrooms into the park, but I can’t support spending this type of money,” he said.