Kawartha Lakes using contingency funds for emergency structure issue

·2 min read

KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes is moving quickly to fix an issue on top of City Hall.

At a meeting, on Tuesday, March 23rd, Kawartha Lakes councillors voted to create an emergency project to repair the City Hall Bell Cupola. The project will be funded through the city’s Capital Contingency Reserve, and council is earmarking up to $35,000 for it.

At the meeting, councillors saw a report from the city’s manager of the Building and Property Division Jörg Petersen.

“Late last Fall, issues related to the condition of the City Hall Bell Cupola were noticed. An assessment was subsequently done, and it was determined that water entering the structure has caused damage to the cladding. It is delaminating, and at risk of falling off,” the report explained.

A cupola is a domed structure, which usually sits on top of a building, in this case used to encase the City Hall Bell.

Ward 3 Councillor Doug Elmslie questioned why this issue wasn’t pointed out to council sooner.

“My recollection is two or three years ago we spent in the neighbourhood of $1 million on the roof to replace a whole bunch of things. I’m just curious as to why this wasn’t included, and should it have not been included?,” he asked.

The city’s director of community services Craig Shanks responded, explaining the bell cupola was not the focus of the structural work done at that time.

“The work that was done a few years ago, the councillor is referring to, was restoration work, and the bell cupola was not in fact included in that, from a restoration standpoint. It was more painting of the bell cupola, and there is no warranty currently for that. What we’re dealing with now is water getting inside, so it’s more of a structural issue,” Mr. Shanks stated.

Councillor Elmslie then said he was disappointed the contractor, chosen to paint the cupola, didn’t point out the structural state of the cupola at the time.

“I think [the comment is] somewhat unfair, because it really wasn’t in the purview of the contract at the time for them to provide that information,” Mr. Shanks responded.

Dan Cearns, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Standard Newspaper