By Greg Price
The final touches are being made on the massive, nearly $7 million investment by the M.D. of Taber into its new operations and maintenance facility, dubbed a ‘100-year’ building in its life expectancy.
The building is now nearing completion, with only minor items to be finished within the contract work.
M.D. construction forces plan to complete the civil portion of the site this summer, and become operational shortly thereafter.
“The M.D. of Taber has identified a need for a new operations and maintenance facility and as a result, council and administration started planning for a new facility back in 2013,” said Craig Pittman, public works superintendent for the M.D. of Taber, giving some background information at a joint council meeting between the M.D. and the town on June 21.
Tours were done of several other municipal shop/maintenance buildings in southern Alberta to get a feel for what was most functional in viewing past successes and mistakes.
In early 2014, M.D. council directed administration to seek engineering support of the existing operation buildings, including the condition and functionality restraints. Following the process, the operations and maintenance building layout was designed to meet the M.D.’s operational requirements.
“Upon further review and analysis by council and administration, the site located approximately 1.5 miles west of the Town of Taber was chosen for many reasons, including site size, highway access, soil type, topography, and the proximity to the Town of Taber,” said Pittman.
A finalized building and lot development design was accepted by council, and administration was tasked to have the project awarded in December 2016.
At the time, engineer estimates for the project were at $7.78 million, with the tender price amounting to approximately $6.8 million, not including contingencies.
“Council for the Municipal District of Taber has continued working towards the completion of the M.D. campus site, including the operations and maintenance building, which includes the stormwater management, as well as the raw water reservoirs for fire protection and irrigation purposes,” said Pittman. “As well, it includes the total site development with the access roads and landscaping.”
The building is approximately 33,000 square feet. The facility will house 45 employees of the M.D. of Taber Public Works and Agricultural Service Board including: surveying, equipment maintenance, safety, grading, graveling, gravel crushing, construction, projects and maintenance crews, road spraying, mowing, municipal parks, recreation and cemetery maintenance, landfills, recycling, crop inspections, crop surveying and horticulture services.
“The municipal district has invested into this site development to ensure the ability to sustain services important to our ratepayers, as well as providing a safe, effective and efficient work environment for everyone,” said Pittman.
M.D. of Taber Deputy Reeve Merrill Harris confirmed there will be an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony at a future date, where locals will be invited to explore the facility and view its features.