The city of Beaconsfield has deferred approving a $3.5 million contract bid to build a new chalet in the Beacon Hill neighbourhood.
Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle said Construction Ecodomus Inc. was the lone bidder for the contract.
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“The decision of council was to delay it because the bid is higher than the estimate. Because we have one bidder, we can actually negotiate the price and hopefully get a better deal.”
The mayor said the estimated costs for a new chalet was about $2 million.
Bourelle said it is important that the ageing chalet be replaced, but he added that “$3.5 million is a lot of money.”
Rob Mercuri, the local city councillor, said he supported delaying the awarding of the contract
“Given that there was only one bidder, it allows the administration to negotiate with the sole bidder,” he said. “Will something come of it? I don’t know. But let’s give the administration a chance to negotiate and maybe save a few bucks.”
Mercuri pointed out that the Beacon Hill chalet, which is located next to a park, pool and Beacon Hill Elementary School, is much bigger than most park chalets in Beaconsfield.
“It’s not just somewhere to change skates in the winter,” he said. “It’s a full service chalet.”
Mercuri said the present chalet was built in the 1960s and no longer meets the need of local citizens.
“We did an audit in 2018 of all our facilities and Beacon Hill chalet was right at the top of the list in terms of buildings that needed to be redone because of the level of service it offers to Beaconsfield and the unfortunate state of the building. The current building is beyond repair. The foundation is shot, the plumbing is obsolete, it needs electrical work, there is no air conditioning. It’s a horrendous building by today’s standards.”
Accessibility is another issue, he said.
“If you’re a senior or someone with reduced mobility, you can’t get up the front steps of the chalet,” he said. “When that chalet was built in 1965, I don’t think that accessibility was even a consideration at the time.
Mercuri said the new chalet will be only one floor but will have about 35 to 40 per cent more usable space than the current building.
“The facility will be changed completely, the washrooms are changed…and there will be two offices in there for associations and potentially a daycare, which the community has been asking for. The old chalet does not meet the standards for a daycare.”
Mercuri said the chalet is a busy hub for local community groups.
“It’s used by summer day camps, the Scouts, Girl Guides, the Beacon Hill Community Association, the baseball association. Local seniors groups also uses the chalet to hold events.”
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