High construction costs put projects over budget

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Construction of the New Lowell Fire and Public Works Building will go ahead after the project was reworked to shave almost $2 million from the tender price to get it to fit the budget.

Deputy director of public works Dan Perreault told council at its May 30 meeting that by reducing the height of the building and making other adjustments, savings were found due to the cost of building materials, causing the price to fall from $5,358,900 to $3,495,000.

Inflation and the cost of building materials continues to result in higher than expected costs.

Councillor Phyllis Dineen had asked staff to get a price estimate for a pavilion at Nottawa ball park.

The proposed 19.7 by 7.6 metre structure would include washroom facilities, a concession stand area and an open pavilion/ picnic style area.

The feasibility study for the pavilion and septic system had a grand total of $826,782.

“It is recommended that council not proceed with the construction of a new pavilion at the Nottawa Ball Park at this time and file the report for future endeavours. There may be possible partnerships to explore with developers as well as other fundraising initiatives that can be materialized in the future,” reported Terry Vachon, general manager of parks, culture and recreation.

Council agreed to put the expenditure on hold.

“Keep it handy and hope it doesn’t collect a lot of dust,” said Mayor Doug Measures.

Inflation had its pros and cons when it comes to the Stayner Library Landscaping projects.

Council has approved a tender for $288,315.99 to complete landscaping at the new Stayner branch that will not only green up the property but will address drainage issues, and create accessible walkways, and make outdoor programming areas usable.

Council declined a tender submission in September when it came in at $257,664, significantly higher than the $85,000 originally budgeted for the project.

Council had referred the tender back to staff to reissue in the spring of 2022, hoping for multiple bids and a lower cost. That didn’t happen.

Vachon reminded council that the old Stayner branch building on Huron Street sold for more than expected creating a reserve of more than $400,000 which is to be applied to the cost of the landscaping and drainage work.

With that, the tender was approved.

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