Rising costs forces Central Manitoulin to scale back projects

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CENTRAL MANITOULIN – Rising construction costs were cited as Central Manitoulin council deferred work on the Providence Bay Community Hall during their September 23 meeting.

A motion moved by Councillor Derek Stephens and seconded by Councillor Steve Shaffer reads: “that council approves cancelling the RFT (request for tender) process for RFT 06-2021 Providence Bay Community Hall Entrance Replacement and Foundation Waterproofing for now.”

“I think we all realize the excessive costs of construction right now,” said Mayor Richard Stephens.

“We are not saying that we won’t do the work,” assured Councillor Shaffer, “just delaying for a little while. It’s an important distinction.”

In another previous motion, also moved forward by Councillors Stephens and Shaffer, council accepted an alternative bid for asphalt shingles for the replacement of the Harbour View Centre roof, skylight and vinyl siding in the amount of $139,726.57.

Councillor Rose Diebolt informed council that she was not happy with herself in having supported the motion at committee. “I really believe we need to put steel on it,” she said. “I know Patricia put in a lot hours on this, but I would like to go back to see where we stand—I am not a fan of asphalt.”

Councillor Stephens said that he also would prefer a steel roof option, but that the cost for a steel roof being three times that of asphalt, which he characterized as “outrageous,” precluded his supporting that option.

Councillor Shaffer agreed that he would like to have seen a steel roof go up, but “the price being so high” was a major factor. He added that, having delayed the work as long as possible, there was no longer any time to “wait it out” to see if prices would go down. “We have waited too long as it is,” he said. Councillor Shaffer also questioned why the cost of the work was not included in the original motion, which he pointed out is usually the case. The motion was corrected to include the cost of the shingles.