The new Saugeen Shores Police Services headquarters in Port Elgin – with an estimated $6.8 million price tag – will be designed by G.M. Diemert Architect Inc. following a decision by Saugeen Shores councillors Nov. 12 to award the $290,000 design contract to the firm that will also provide oversight to the construction process. The decision made by committee of the whole meeting Nov. 13 must be ratified at the Nov. 27 council meeting.
The proposed facility, to be built on town-owned land at the corner of Concession 10 and MacKenzie Dr. in Port Elgin’s Business Park, will be debt-financed – it’s estimated the facility will cost each Saugeen Shores household an additional $63 annually, for 20 years to pay it off.
In an update to councillor, David Smith, the Town’s CAO said Diemert was the “significantly” lowest of four submitted bids.
Smith said at this point the estimated cost is $6.8 million – plus or minus 25 per cent, but when it is time for council to make a final decision, the plus or minus will be reduced to 2 per cent.
Coun. Dave Myette, a member of the Saugeen Shores Police Services Board, was leery of approving Diemert for the prime design work as it was the firm that built the existing police station with its “significant and numerous deficiencies, some of them that last until today…”
“I feel somewhat reserved going back to the same company that got us into trouble,” Myette said, asking if the design/build concept for the facility had been ruled out.
In defence of Diemert, Mayor Mike Smith suggested they not point a finger, noting the company designed a “bunch of buildings in this community – some of them are very good” – and there could be a whole range of issues unrelated to the architect.