Loyalist to spend over $500,000 to renovate roads garage to accommodate staff offices

Adam Bramburger
Beaver Staff

Loyalist Township will be renovating its County Rd. 6 roads garage next year at a cost of $503,372 to ease overcrowding at its Odessa administrative building until a new administrative site is built.

Council made that decision Monday upon the recommendation of superintendent of facility operations Anne Lindsay, who reported staff was unable to reach an agreement to lease commercial space at a Loyalist East Business Park property as council had directed earlier this year.

Lindsay reported to council that two additional commercial leasing options were considered — another building in the Loyalist East Business Park and one in Bath, that were each expected to be available by spring 2019. Staff estimates suggested that moving staff to those locations over a two-year term would result in costs of $193,073 and $207,668 respectively.

Conversely, municipal staff also looked into renovating an existing unfinished second-floor space at the roads garage, which had been used primarily for storage. A feasibility study conducted by Roney Construction pegged the cost of renovation of the floor at $361,932.  Ancillary costs related to the construction, included expedited design work, contract administration and contingency was tabbed at $111,000.  One-time costs of $30,440, including moving expenses, office and meeting room furniture.

Lindsay reported that 16 members of the infrastructure services department would be moved from the overcrowded Odessa facility as the move would have the minimal impact on walk-in customer service levels compared to other departments and leave the greatest amount of vacant space.

Added into the consideration was that council was already planning a $900,000 upgrade of the County Rd. 6 facility in 2019 to add in six additional truck bays. She indicated a phased plan for the all of the upgrades at the site could be considered, where the initial expansion plan may be pushed into 2020. All told, the building could become a better asset that would meet the long-term needs of the public works department.

“The commercial office space lease option, while having the least financial impact in the short term, results in the least value to the township with no return on our investment over time, Lindsay reported.  “Moreover, if this interim option is selected and construction of a new municipal office is deferred, this option could become costlier than the renovation/investment into the public works garage, a township owned asset, after seven years.”

Asked about what the $503,372 includes, Lindsay said the approximately 2,000-square-foot space above the existing public works lunch room, offices and storage, would include capacity for up to 23 staff members in open- and closed-concept spaces. The project would also include the installation of an elevator in a pre-existing shaft and a staircase to meet fire code.

Council’s motion also called pre-budget authorization of an additional $40,000 for expedited design services for the renovation and expansion.

It is hoped staff will move into their new workspace by fall 2019.

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