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February 12th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 6
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Crowsnest Centre over budget,
behind schedule
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Pass Herald photo
The site of the former Crowsnest Centre in January.
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
The demolition of the Crowsnest Centre is behind schedule and extra asbestos discovered at the site is costing the municipality an additional $154,000.

“Where they found additional asbestos was in some subfloors in the new portion of the building that wasn’t found with the additional environmental assessments,” said Frank Besinger, Director of Planning, Engineering and Operations, in his report to council on Feb. 4.

On August 6, 2013, council approved the demolition of the Crowsnest Centre by Dakota Reclamators for $585,314, excluding GST. The project was to be funded by taking $250,000 from MSI Capital Funding and $350,000 out of the Mills Rate Stabilization Reserve. That tender bid did not include backfill costs but Myron Thompson, the previous CAO, said the building should be demolished first before discussing what to do with the excavation.

The work began in September but five months in, the project is unfinished and is now over budget.

“We were told it would be complete before mid January,” said Mayor Blair Painter. “Well complete to me is flat. Not left with piles. We’re sitting here with piles and now you’re telling me that there’s also an extra $154,000 in extra charges incurred with asbestos removal that nobody knew about.”

Mayor Blair Painter is surprised the original assessment, completed in 2009, did not discover the extra asbestos.

“You’re leading us to believe that when this was tendered, nobody considered asbestos in this building?” asked Painter.

“The exposed surface had some asbestos in it but it didn’t account for what was underneath that in the subfloors,” explained Besinger.

“Did they not know there were subfloors there? I mean we own the building,” said Councillor Doreen Glavin.

“No,” replied Besinger.

Besinger said Dakota Reclamators is agreeing to reduce the extra costs from $154,000 to $54,000, if council agrees to use the debris left at the site as fill for the excavation site.

If council does not agree to use the material as fill, the municipality will be liable for the cost to remove it.

“There’s a cost to demolish a building and a cost to haul the materials away and to level it all and backfill it all and that ranged anywhere from 110,000 to 171,000 from the various bids that came in,” said Besinger.

Besinger says it makes the most sense to simply use the material as a fill for the excavation.

“Every development has lot grading requirements. And when you have depressions in the ground of that size [we] thought it was in our best interest to take that material and use it as fill material in lieu of paying them cash for the asbestos issues we had to deal with,” said Besinger.

The project was supposed to be completed by mid January. Besinger says Dakota Reclamators will complete the cleanup of the Crowsnest Centre by the end of March. Councillor Bill Kovach says Dakota should be held to the original deadline.

“I think they’re taking us for a ride here, Frank. I think we should put a deadline for them to come and finish their project. They started it and it was supposed to be [completed] in mid January, now it’s February and I think we’re going to end up doing this on our own,” said Kovach. “We should give them a deadline and have them come in. If not, we should get some costs from other contractors. See what it’s going to cost to finish cleaning this site up.

Councillor Ward made the motion to revisit the subject at the next council meeting on Feb. 18, which was carried unanimously.
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February 12th ~ Vol. 84 No. 6
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