Cumberland’s council approved tenders for two parts of the new fire hall – one of its main upcoming infrastructure projects.
At a meeting on Feb. 24, council members approved motions to award work to subcontractors for civil services at the site as well as some of the mechanical infrastructure for the building. The new fire hall is to be built at 4382 Cumberland Rd.
There will be many tenders for sub-trades on the project, but the Village needs approval for projects over a threshold value of $200,000. As manager of operations Rob Crisfeld said, these two projects will be two of the larger parts of the project.
“Those two are outside the $200,000 value in the purchasing management services policy,” he said.
As a whole, the project is budgeted at $4.2 million, and Crisfeld said estimates have been close.
“For the most part, they came in at or below what the expected costs were,” he told council.
Council awarded a contract for civil services work to David Stalker Excavation Ltd. in the amount of $565,837.50. This work includes excavation of the site, backfilling, site preparation and utility servicing. The company is based in Ladysmith, and Crisfeld said there were some local civil works companies submitting bids, but these came in higher.
The other contract was for some of the mechanical work, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), plumbing and fire suppression systems. Council awarded the contract to Strategic Mechanical Inc. for $410,151. The tender period closed at the end of January.
Coun. Vickey Brown asked about social procurement and whether the Village’s policy gives weight to local bidders. Crisfeld responded that bidders have to meet a couple of conditions for social procurement. Examples of conditions include hiring a local company, hiring local suppliers and paying a living wage, among others.
“There’s a list for all the bidders to demonstrate that they meet two of those conditions,” he said.
Coun. Jesse Ketler said she was glad to get an update about the tenders.
“I really appreciate seeing it and seeing that we’re still on track for the budget with this,” she said.
A staff report notes that unlike larger projects with an architect and general contractor, the Village is working with Jordan Almond from MKM Projects as construction manager to coordinate both the design and construction of the fire hall. This should save on cost but means additional work to separate individual contracts with sub-trades. It also states there may be opportunities to revise the project in a few areas to potentially reduce some costs that can mitigate any other overruns.
The project is being funded through long-term borrowing, which was passed by council in December. The project had received voter assent through the alternative approval process last fall. To defeat the bylaw to borrow funding for the fire fall, at least 10 per cent of voters would have had to express written opposition. The threshold for the Village was 310 voters, but only 57 responses were submitted.