Friday, 20 October 2017 09:28

Council approves construction of new equipment storage facility

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The construction of a new equipment storage facility for the City of Swift Current's heavy equipment will result in long-term cost saving on leased storage space.


Councillors approved the contract for the construction of the new facility at a regular council meeting, Oct. 10.
According to Mitch Minken, the City's general manager of infrastructure and operations, the project will consolidate the storage of the City's heavy equipment on a single site.
“As we’ve grown in size for the city, we’ve had to obtain more equipment to be able to keep our maintenance and operations going,” he said. “So as we grew a little bit, we were leasing a building and then leased another building and now we’re in three separate buildings. The time has come for us to look at putting up our own building, because the payback on removing those lease payments is very short. It’s in the three or four-year range for us to get the payback by removing those lease payments.”
The City is currently renting a storage building at 1620 Chaplin St. W for transit buses and two buildings on 650 North Railway St. W for maintenance vehicles and heavy equipment. These facilities provide 13,500 square feet of storage space and the monthly rent is about $14,300.
The new equipment storage facility will have all the equipment on one site and the City will eliminate the cost of leasing storage space. The City received four qualifying bids for the construction of two buildings and awarded the contract to the lowest bidder, Frontier Builders, at a cost of $821,250 (excluding taxes).
The total cost of the facility, including engineering, surveying and utility servicing, will be $950,000. An amount of $650,000 was already approved in the capital budget for this project. Council therefore also approved an additional $300,000 for the project.
The City already owns the property at 1911 North Railway St. W that will be used for the construction of the two storage buildings.
“It was just an empty piece of property,” he said. “We used it as a snow dump for a number of years and so we’ll just relocate our snow dump to another location and use it for the storage facility.”
During the design phase it was decided to construct two 48 feet wide buildings instead of a single 96 feet wide building.
“As the span of the building extends, the cost increases sharply due to the need for additional engineering and either a steel frame or interior columns and a heavy duty truss system,” he explained. “Additionally, it is desirable to separate storage to mitigate losses.”
Another City owned property was originally considered for this project, but the site was not wide enough and there was not enough room for large vehicle movement. The site's proximity to the downtown area also made is less desirable for use to store heavy equipment.
“So we looked at alternatives and we found another piece of property that we had that is actually in an even better location for us,” he said. “It’s closer to our existing service centre and out in the industrial area. So we get out of the commercial area and it’s a better fit.”
The additional funding that is required for the construction of the two new storage buildings will eventually be recovered from the sale of the smaller property, which currently has two small storage building on it.
“It is no longer required for us,” Minken said. “Once we build these other storage facilities, we will be able to take everything that we have out of there and then it will become surplus property for sale.”
The construction of the new storage buildings will start as soon as possible and the project will probably be completed by late spring or early summer in 2018.

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Matthew Liebenberg

Reporter/Photographer

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