The Town of the Blue Mountains (TBM) is considering an $8.5 million construction project for the Ravenna roads depot, according to the proposed 2022 capital budget.
The roads and drainage employees in Ravenna are currently working out of a rented office trailer, on a site that lacks adequate storage for its equipment.
The project would include the construction of a permanent office building and 12 bays for storing some of the town’s larger vehicles, including graders and snowplows.
The town said that the project is needed due to pressures brought on by additional equipment and personnel brought on to serve the community.
“To effectively serve the community, the roads division has expanded and is now facing both personnel space constraints and equipment space constraints at the existing site,” stated Tim Hendry, manager of communications and economic development, in an email. “As a temporary solution to gain additional workspace, the town has been renting a portable office trailer. The proposed expansion project will fully utilize the existing property to provide permanent office space and additional bays for large equipment storage.”
According to town staff, the project is needed to maintain current service levels as the community grows.
“To continue to meet the roads maintenance and service needs of the growing community, the roads division has expanded through additional personnel and equipment,” stated Hendry. “The proposed expansion project will help ensure that the town can maintain existing service levels throughout the community.”
Hendry also noted “the additional indoor storage bays will increase operational efficiency and extend the useful life of the equipment.”
The project budget lists $6.1 million for construction, $610k for engineering, $351k for salaries and benefits, and a $1.5 million contingency fund.
As proposed, $350k in funding will come from capital reserves and public works development charges to cover the project’s salaries and benefits.
The town proposed a three-year contract for a project manager to execute the expansion of the Ravenna roads depot.
The remaining $8.2 million will be assumed as long-term debt, one-quarter of which will be paid through taxation, and the remainder through additional development charges.
The 2022 budget is still in draft form and has not been approved by council.
Four meetings are scheduled for budget deliberations, taking place on Dec. 2, Dec. 3, Dec. 6, and Dec. 8.
The meetings on Dec. 2 and 6 will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the meetings on Dec. 3 and 8 will take place from 9 a.m. to noon.
A revised edition of the budget will be made available Dec 16, which will be subject to public meetings on Jan. 24, 2022.
Following any additional changes, the proposed budget will be brought back to council for approval in a meeting expected to occur on Feb. 14, 2022.
Click here for a link to the 2022 proposed budget.
Click here for the council meeting schedule and virtual links.
Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca