At the July 6 council meeting, Nancy Carrol, the clerk and treasurer of Tudor and Cashel Township, gave the council a report on the results of a tender to complete the installation of automatic doors, a ramp and cover at the entrances to the municipal office, thus increasing accessibility. The tender was awarded to the only bid received, from Trotter’s Carpentry, in the amount of $67,178.13, with Councillor Bob Bridger voting against it. The renovation is scheduled to be done by the end of 2021.
The grant to move forward with this accessibility reno began with an application to the Ministry of Employment and Social Development in the summer of 2020 and was approved though the 2020 Enabling Accessibility Fund. In addition to updating the township website to meet 2.0 WCAG Level A standards and increase its accessibility, the township also focused on making several structural improvements to the municipal offi ce building to make it more accessible for residents. The work will consist of extending the ramp along the west side of the building toward the south side of the parking lot as well as cover over the entire entrance way. In addition, a new power door will be put in to replace the existing door.
At the July 6 meeting, Bridger asked Carrol if the renovation for these accessibility improvements was completely covered by the grant they had gotten, and she replied that it was. Seeing as how the township had only gotten one quote for the job, from Trotter’s Carpentry, Bridger was quite concerned and wondered how widely the tender had been advertised. Carrol replied that an advertisement had been put in the Bancroft papers and other community press, on the township website and on their Facebook page. She said she had also reached out to a few contractors to let them know that the tender was out.
“We advertised and if only one contractor bids on it I don’t think we have control over that,” she says.
Clarke said that it seemed to her, from what Carrol had said, that it was fully advertised.
“If it was in the paper and on the website and on Facebook, and Nancy actually called people,” she says.
Bridger was still concerned over having gotten only one bid.
“That’s a scary thought. Why did we only get one bid?” he says.
Deputy Mayor Ron Carroll asked if the building renovation has to be done this year with the grant money received or if it could be deferred until next year. He said that building materials, which have seen a price increase due to COVID-19, may go down if they wait, and he said that if it was laid over until next year, they could possibly get more bids if they retendered.
Carrol thought it could be deferred until 2022 if necessary and decided on by council.
Councillor Roy Reeds interjected, saying that if they only had one bid, they only have one bid.
“You have to move forward. What else are you supposed to do?” he asked.
Carrol told council that the bulk of the cost wasn’t due to the building materials but the way they were going about the renovation. However, she admitted she didn’t know how much the increase in building materials had increased the cost.
“Because we’re going into the parking lot asphalt here at the site and then where we did all our landscaping. We had investigated using a type of drill bit, like a screw sort of thing for our roofing, so they’ll have a special piece of equipment come in and they drill a post down and you bolt on to that. It’s less destructive so we’re not going to be digging up everything we just did to put in this roofing system. “So there’s a large cost associated with that,” she says.
Bridger asked if this wrap around roof would come in contact with the rock garden at the front of the office.
“It would have been nice to see a picture of all this,” he says.
Clarke asked Carrol if this work would take away the landscaping at the front of the office, to which Carrol replied that it wouldn’t.
“However, the posts will be going down into the rock garden to facilitate the roof renovation,” she says.
Clarke asked if there was a diagram of what they’ll be doing, and Carrol replied that it was on the township website, but that she’d send a copy to Clarke and the rest of council.
Once the discussion was over, the motion passed to proceed with the accessibility renovation to the municipal office, with Bridger voting against it, due to the tender having received only one bid.
Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times