Central Manitoulin lobbies for new OPP detachment to be in municipality

MANITOULIN—While it appears as if the province may be constructing a new Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) detachment building in the Northeast Town, Central Manitoulin council is still going to try and convince the province to build the new detachment office in its municipality. Meanwhile, the province has issued a request for qualifications for the OPP Modernization-Stage Two.

“I see in The Manitoulin Expositor this week that Infrastructure Ontario (IO) has purchased property in the Northeast Town,” said Councillor Derek Stephens, at a Central Manitoulin council meeting last week. “Speculation is that’s where they are going to construct the new building.”

“We have a letter of request into them (for the detachment office) to be located here (Central Manitoulin),” said Mayor Richard Stephens.

“We are right in the middle of the Island, centrally located, and this is where the new OPP detachment needs to be located,” said Councillor Stephens.

As was reported in the January 25 Manitoulin Expositor,  the Northeast Town has sold a large portion of land to Infrastructure Ontario (IO) for $125,000. The eight  lots purchased by IO are located by the Little Current municipally owned subdivisions, between Boozeneck and Hayward Streets. Cary Mignault, special advisor with IO, noted that “specific details about the exact locations will be released publicly after full due diligence has been followed. The government will announce the sites chosen for development once decisions are finalized.”

Council passed a motion, “to support Mayor Stephens in his endeavour to solicit the Ontario Provincial Police to build the new detachment in the community of Central Manitoulin, because we have ample municipal property available, we are centrally located on Manitoulin Island, the community of Mindemoya has water and sewer, and we are the fastest growing municipality on Manitoulin Island.”

Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MCSCS) have issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for interested parties to submit their qualifications to design, build and finance nine new detachments for phase two of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Modernization project, a release explains.

Nine new detachments will be built to replace buildings at the end of their useful lifespan. The new detachments will be located in Moosonee, Fort Frances, Hawkesbury, Huron County, West Parry Sound, Manitoulin Island, Port Credit, Marathon, and Orillia.

“Investing in new detachments brings much needed modernization to police services in Ontario,” said Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services. “This work builds on the first phase of modernization, and better equips the OPP to serve those communities.”

Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Infrastructure said, “Ontario is committed to making infrastructure investments that will give communities new and better police services, with modern systems and technology. Getting the OPP much needed upgrades helps communities thrive and is key to growing our economy and improving the quality of life for all Ontarians.”

“IO is proud to partner with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the OPP to help deliver these important detachments across Ontario,” said Ehren Cory, Divisional President, Project Delivery, Infrastructure Ontario.

The RFQ is the first step in the procurement process to select a team to deliver the project. IO and the MCSCS will evaluate submissions to prequalify project teams with the design and construction experience, as well as the qualified personnel and financial capacity to deliver a project of this scope and complexity. Teams that qualify will be invited to respond to a request for proposals in mid-2017. Interested companies must register with merx.com (http://www.merx.com/) to download the RFQ.

IO and the MCSCS are working together to deliver the new facilities, which will remain publicly owned, controlled and accountable.

Yanni Dagonas of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services told the Recorder late last week, “this request for qualifications is for those who want to apply to bid to design and construct the buildings, for all nine of them.”

Kevin Webb, staff sergeant-detachment commander with the Manitoulin OPP said, “what they are basically doing is entertaining proposals from contractors for the project and then securing one company to carry out this work. Once a general contractor is selected, the schedule will be released  for when each building is going to be constructed.”