As reported in The Western Star, it was fitting for the Town of Clarenville to approve the bid for the construction of a new fire hall in the community during volunteer week, with the Clarenville Volunteer Department in attendance for the news.
At an unscheduled meeting on April 11, council thanked both employees of the town, as well as firefighters, not only for the work they do in emergency response, but also for all the contributions leading up to the confirmation of a new fire hall, to be built on O’Mahony Drive.
Mayor Frazer Russell called the announcement “wonderful” and “historic.”
“It’s a dire need for the Town of Clarenville and a welcome addition to the fire department,” said Russell.
“I think it’s onerous on the council to provide our firefighters with the best possible equipment and space for them. I think it’s important that our residents know, not only do we have a well-trained fire department, but you have to give them a proper equipment and place to do their work.”
The request for proposals was unique to begin with. Chief administrative officer David Harris explained there were two options for contractors – a bid including the price for the complete design and build for the fire hall, or what the building would cost as a design, build and annual lease agreement.
Harris says the decision to go with Goobies Rentals and Contracting Ltd., was simple because it was the lowest bid at $2,369,500 and it came in at below the $2.5 million price tag they allotted for the project.
Harris explains that if they were to enter a funding agreement with the province for a fire hall, they would be required to contribute at least $2.5 million in a cost-share agreement anyway. Therefore, council made its decision to go on its own to build the hall, hoping to do so at a cheaper price and not sacrificing capital works funding from government that needs to be used to replace aging infrastructure.
This way, the town can afford to finance the project through borrowing with CIBC over a 25-year term as opposed to entering a lease agreement with the contractor.
Council unanimously approved both the tender decision and the bank loan at the meeting.
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