Engineer reports Manor in good condition, few reasons for concern

A recent meeting was held at the Manor for all of the Island’s municipalities.

Capital work over next 10 years forecast for $612,800

MANITOULIN—Initial responses to an awaited engineer’s report on the Manitoulin Centennial Manor regarding the condition of the building and the long-term asset management plan projections are positive. The projected capital work that will need to take place in the Manor totals $612,800 over the next 10 years. However, this forecast does not include the fact that some of this work is already included in the operating budget of the Manor (approximately $40,000 per year), as well as fundraising that is being carried out as well.

“I thought the engineer’s report was pretty positive,” stated Pat MacDonald, a Manor board member after the meeting last week. “For a building that is 50 years old it is in pretty good shape.”

Manor board member Bill Baker said, “with the report we received the building is in relatively good condition. It is a 50-plus-year-old building, so infrastructure does break down and needs to be replaced.”

“The plan we were presented is quite comprehensive and it sure covers all infrastructure in the building,” said Mr. Baker. “It is very comprehensive. The report looks at expected costs in terms of capital work over the next 10 years. And a major part of the overall costs will be part of the operating budget.  I don’t see being hit with the major costs the municipalities were hit with last year. About $40,000 of the costs annually are made up in the operating budget, although no one can forecast if something could crop up in that time.”

“Overall, it was a very good engineer’s report,” stated Paul Moffat, Manor board chair. The Manor “will never make money because it is a two floor building and additional staff are needed to operate it compared to a one story building. But it is a very well run facility.”
“One thing I heard at the meeting with the municipalities a few weeks ago was from NEMI Mayor Al MacNevin that we should build in, say, $10,000 a year in a capital reserve fund. And if it isn’t used one year it would build up the next,” said Mr. Baker. “I hope the new board will take a look at that.”

However, Mr. Moffat noted as well, “while the engineer’s report was good, it is only a forecast. But the way it was explained to me our operating budget always includes contingences for things that need to be replaced.”

Daniel Woods, Extendicare Director of Engineering said in his report to the Manor Board dated October 12, 2018, “I visited the home on July 25th and met with the administrator (Michelle Bond), the Dietary and Support Services Manager (Chris Lethbridge) and the Maintenance Man (Wendle Bailey). Wendle took considerable time to escort me around the home and point out areas of concern. In general, this home has held up well during the five years since my last visit.”

“The home appears to be in good condition with few reasons for concern. There have been some notable improvements, and there are some areas that should be considered for upgrade over the next few years,” wrote Mr. Woods.

“The major improvements are the new ventilation equipment that was installed on the roof last year, the new advanced care nurse-call system that was installed last year and the conversion from pneumatic HVAC controls to electronic controls that is being carried out this year,” Mr. Woods continued. “There is some equipment that is old, but well-maintained and operating well. There is no reason to suspect that this equipment will fail over the next 10 years, but there is a risk that changes to government regulations may require that it be replaced or upgraded to meet changing regulations.” The list includes the underground fuel storage tank, a 1967 Otis elevator, the 1967 Onan 30 kW propane-fired generator and two Weil McLean oil-fired heating boilers which are of 1970s-vintage and in good condition.

As well, Mr. Woods provided a list of 24 capital work items that should be given some consideration for the near future (10 years).

Ms. MacDonald noted, “we now have the engineer’s inspection of the building; the last one was carried out five years ago and there have been things—the most critical—that have been carried out. Things look a lot more stable than the previous report and the board always puts money in the operating budget for repairs and updates that are required. Over the next 10 years basically we are looking at $60,000 per year in capital work, but some of this is already included in the operations budget. And we are trying to be more proactive in staying on top of things. The board is doing what it can to be prepared before anything breaks down in the building.”

“And, for instance, the cost of carpeting the halls in the building is being fundraised for,” said Ms. MacDonald. “All in all I think this is a positive report. The building is in good condition.”

“In a perfect world we would have a good reserve built up in case unexpected breakdowns occur,” said Mr. Moffat. “Then we wouldn’t have to go to municipalities when equipment breaks down. Unfortunately, we don’t have a reserve.”