Council to proceed with expansion of works depot due to health and safety concerns

Citing health and safety issues, Brock Township will proceed with a $2.4-million expansion of the Thorah works depot despite the project running significantly over budget.

Members of council made that decision Monday (May 27) after receiving a report from the former works director that documents the current state of the building, which was built at some point in the 1950s.

“As mentioned earlier, the existing Beaverton Patrol Yard structure remains virtually unchanged from its original construction about 70 years ago. The existing structure is deficient in several areas and in some cases pose health and safety risk to our valued employees,” the report reads.

“The existing facility only has a single washroom of the same 1950s’ vintage as the original building. There is mold present from numerous recurring roof and water leaks.”

There’s also a lack of proper ventilation and insulation.

Those around the table certainly didn’t mince words as they discussed the various issues.

“That place is a dump,” said Interim CAO Garth Johns, noting that the state of the building has caused a “morale issue” for works staff.

The “serious” health and safety issues at the facility need to be addressed, he told members of council.

“There’s absolutely no question in my mind that this has to happen,” said Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden of the proposed expansion.

Her colleagues on council were quick to agree.

“It’s unfortunate this didn’t get done years ago. We could have saved some money,” said Ward 1 Councillor Mike Jubb.

“It’s long overdue,” added Regional Councillor Ted Smith.

The lowest bid for the project, from Niacom Ltd., came in at more than $2.4 million – a substantial increase from the $1.65 million initially budgeted.

As a result, provisional items, site works, and other contingencies will be removed from the project so construction can proceed in 2019.

“Staff expect that these works would not proceed until 2020 given the proposed June start date of the contract. Most of the deferred works can be completed by works staff with our own equipment,” a report on the tender process reads.

The remaining shortfall, estimated at $500,000, will be drawn from capital reserves and development charges.

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