Town engineer Dwayne Acton was the star of the show on Monday evening as he briefed Sackville’s mayor, deputy mayor and councillors about a wide range of projects some of which council will be asked to approve at its next meeting on August 14th.
At the same time, Acton and Treasurer Michael Beal explained how they’re taking steps to stay within the budgets already allocated for the projects which include the beautification of Trans-Canada Highway Exit 506, construction of a big, steel storage building behind the Civic Centre and a new observation tower in Sackville’s Waterfowl Park.
Note: All figures in the following sections include HST.
The town had budgeted $23,000 for beautification of Exit 506, the Bridge Street exit.
Viridis Design Studio of Riverview created a landscaping plan that cost $2,300. It includes four rose beds, two at the eastbound off-ramp leading from Moncton and two at the westbound one leading from Amherst. The plan also shows tree removal and pruning as well as wildflowers planted along both off-ramps.
For a partial view of the landscaping design, click here and scroll up, down and across as needed.
The town asked five local companies for quotes that ended up ranging as high as $48,926. The lowest quote, from Beach Hill Landscaping, came in at $34,350, well above the $20,700 left in the budget. So, town staff have decided to recommend scaling the project back by about 40 per cent.
At its meeting next Monday, town council will be asked to award the reduced project for $20,700 to Beach Hill Landscaping.
Town storage building
The town had budgeted $345,000 for a building behind the Tantramar Memorial Veterans Civic Centre to store property from all town departments as well as emergency items such as blankets, bottled water, cots and electrical generators. (The Civic Centre serves as the town’s emergency reception centre so the new 60 x 120 foot building would be in a convenient location.)
Town staff decided it would be cheaper to construct a pre-engineered, steel storage building that could be easily expanded if needed.
Of the four bids received, the lowest came from Maritech Construction at $419,386, well above the budget allocation. So, town staff are recommending that the building be constructed without a poured concrete floor that would cost $48,374. (They say the floor could be added later whenever money becomes available.)
Town staff note that would still leave a gap of $26,000, but the treasurer says that money could come from other capital projects that were under budget.
On Monday, councillors will be asked to award the contract for about $371,000 to Maritech Construction with the understanding that the concrete slab floor will be added whenever money becomes available.
Waterfowl Park Observation Tower
Meantime, town staff are trying to come up with money for a new observation tower that would be built on stilts in the Waterfowl Park. The nine foot high, 10 x 10 foot tower would be located on the central trail about 100 metres north of the Doncaster Bridge.
The town asked the two companies that built the park boardwalks to bid on the project. Sackville General Contracting came in with a bid of $24,127 while Tantramar Buildings and Renovations submitted one for $27,600.
Meantime, Cowan Insurance has agreed to contribute $5,000, while Sears Insurance would kick in $2,500.
The town has also approached N.B. Trails for $10,250, but hasn’t heard back yet.
“We’re still looking for ways to make it happen,” Dwayne Acton says adding that if it doesn’t happen, the town would lose the $7,500 in contributions from the insurance agencies.
Town councillors will also likely be asked to approve around $50,000 for a statue of the late George Stanley, designer of the Canadian flag and founding director of the Canadian Studies program at Mount Allison University. The money would come from a $150,000 provincial grant in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.
And, plans are in the works to award an $8,000 contract to Beach Hill Landscaping to alleviate flooding on the Trans-Canada Trail near the Tantramar District Regional High School parking lot. Six thousand dollars of that would come out of money the town already pays to Anglophone East School District for use of the high school’s sports facilities.
I am concerned that it would appear that senior staff when budgeting for these projects are always way under budget.
Would you happen to have record of all the tenders awarded in the last year and a half how many were on budget and how many were off and to what dollar amounts?
It is also concerning that staff are recommending proceeding with the storage building which would be over budget but still not completed.
As well it is disappointing how staff managed to find money for the storage building that was over budget however are recommending scaling back the beautification at exit 506.
Guess it isn’t the priority they told folks it was going to be for the town.
The gravel floor will allow the stored contents of the heated building to take on the moisture content of the ground itself especially in the initial year and as a result MOULD will be a very pronounced problem. I can just imagine the condition of cots, blankets, etc after being in this environment for some time. Simply raising the items off the floor via pallets will not do the trick.
Locally, basically the same was done a couple of years ago and the vehicles and equipment that were stored inside during the first year rusted very badly. A reinforced concrete slab with proper moisture membrane beneath it is a necessity from day one of occupancy.
Would you build a house these days with a mud, or gravel, floor heated basement with the plan to, down the road, when you have the money, take everything out and then pour the concrete?