By J.W. Schnarr
Southern Alberta Newspapers – Lethbridge
The Municipal District of Taber is moving ahead with a nearly $7 million construction project for a new maintenance and operations building.
A tender from Dawson Wallace Construction Ltd. was accepted by council during their regular meeting on Nov. 22.
The amount of the tender was $6,802,060. The pre-tender engineer’s estimate for the project was $7,762,000.
M.D. of Taber Municipal Administrator Derrick Krizsan said nine companies put in tenders for the project. Dawson Wallace is the company which constructed the Casa building in downtown Lethbridge.
“They do have a permanent Lethbridge office, and it appears as though they’ve done a number of substantial projects,” said Krizsan.
The 33,532 square-foot (3115.25 square-metre) building will be located on a 40 acre parcel at NE 26-9-17-W4 on the south side of Highway 3 and adjacent to a service road located between Barnwell and Taber. The land was purchased by the M.D. in January of this year.
The building will feature five equipment bays, a welding and fabrication bay, multiple equipment lifts, and overhead cranes.
It will house staff responsible for the maintenance of municipal equipment as well as administrative offices and meeting rooms for the public works and agricultural service board departments of the municipality.
Locally, M.D. of Taber crews will handle the civil portions of the project amounting to $1.8 million. That portion will include site grading, stormwater retention, and roadways.
The M.D. of Taber Agriculture Services Board is also expected to be involved in the process by assisting in site landscaping and other improvements.
“The last three years, our construction crews have been able to work year-round,” said Krizsan. “We increased our capabilities to do winter construction.”
“This is an increase in the ability to do some of that work in-house, which is very cost-effective for us.”
The project is being funded through municipal reserves which have been earmarked over the past several years as well as municipal sustainability initiative grant funding and funds allocated from annual capital budgets in 2017 and 2018. The project has been in the works since 2012.
The original 10-acre site plan at another location was deemed too small for the M.D.’s largest equipment, so another property was sought.
“We started looking at the turning radius of some of our biggest equipment and quickly determined the current 10-acre site located in (Taber) was not sufficiently large enough,” said Krizsan.
Approximately 45 staff members would report to this facility daily with 38 of them leaving to perform road construction and road maintenance work throughout the municipality.
Construction is expected to begin in spring 2017 and be completed by summer 2018.
For anyone interested in the construction process, Krizsan said the M.D. of Taber plans on installing cameras in the project that will share images to both the M.D. website and to social media.