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Taber council address waste transfer station

Posted on July 6, 2022 by Taber Times

By Kenyon Stronski
Taber Times

As part of the 2022 capital budget, the addition of Taber’s transfer station was approved and the tender was subsequently released at the end of May. According to the agenda, Taber received five bids on the project with the best being from Southwest Design and Construction Ltd. at $415,447.00. The agenda notes the approved amount from the budget is $405,000 with $234,753 being funded from Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grants and the remaining being funded from capital reserves.
Director of Engineering and Public Works, Gary Scherer appeared before council at their June 27 regular meeting to present administration’s findings.
“Just to give council a bit of background on our transfer station building. The main front site where the two big doors are will be demolished. As you’ve seen before, the concrete you can put your hand through because it’s been hit so many times. The new construction will be 9.6 meters so it’s a new addition. We’re going to have supported concrete grade beams, structural slabs, slab on grade entrance pads, and a new door which is much needed. You see on the camera at night it’s nothing but a party in there for the animals like raccoons and deer. We’ll be enhancing the sprinkler system, and a power supply for the door. the total performance will be done by November 14 but there might have to be some give and take on that depending on when the metal comes in but right now that is the length of the contract. We didn’t go over a bid on the tender due to supply train so we’re asking council for an additional $60,000 towards this project.”
Coun. Joanne Sorensen spoke up first, “It mentioned that the site will be closed to the public and you’ll be shifting the waste to Lethbridge, is there an approximate cost for how much that will be?”
Scherer explained that all of Taber’s trucks can drive to Lethbridge and that they don’t have to be dumped here, however, there will be some additional fuel costs associated however he’s hoping they will be able to break even.
In the spirit of saving the town money, Sorensen then asked if there was any way to save money by cutting down on some of the proposed upgrades.
“Yes, there is,” stated Scherer. “We have to word the contract as is and then we can negotiate. We have looked at, for example, from changing the door from power lift to sliding so we have definitely looked into that.”
Next up to take the mic was Coun. Carly Firth who inquired into a higher contingency for the project.
“I noticed that administration is recommending the project contingency be increased from $20,000 to $30,000. My understanding is that a contingency is used in case of overages, so why the increase?”
Scherer responded there was an extra overage as they didn’t allow for electricity of the big power lift door — which adds an extra $17,000 onto the bill that would have been used in the current contingency.
“The other $13,000 is the real contingency.”
A motion was then posed to council by Sorensen for council to direct administration to award the transfer station building addition project to Southwest Design and Construction Ltd. in the amount of $436,219.35 and to direct administration to negotiate with the contractor to bring the project within budget by altering the scope.
In opposition to the motion, Coun. Jack Brewin spoke up. “I have a problem with accepting that motion because we’re always looking at cutting costs. I feel we’ll build the best building we can and I don’t want them cutting back the size of the building. The town is only growing and to make a smaller building now doesn’t make sense to me. Let’s keep the cost the way you can and do your best. I don’t want to see the size altered because we’re only growing — we’re not getting smaller.”
Echoing the statement, Scherer added, “It might be tough to do, we’d much rather award the way it was and then get the reductions. It’s easier for us and this puts the project in jeopardy of not moving forward.”
Sorensen then withdrew her motion and went with the recommended motion for council to award the transfer station building addition project to Southwest Design and Construction Ltd. in the amount of $425,447.00 excluding GST and directs administration to add an additional $60,000 budget towards the project to adjust for the budget shortfall and additional contingency, with funds to come from the capital reserves.
The motion passed unanimously.

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