SG Council delays Smithfield Park building over high costs

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By Nick Seebruch
SG Council delays Smithfield Park building over high costs
A satellite view of Smithfield Park from Google Maps.

LANCASTER, Ontario – At their meeting on Monday, Sept. 16, South Glengarry Township Council voted unanimously to cancel their tender to build a new community facility at Smithfield Park in South Lancaster.

The lowest bid that the township received for the tender was $346,582 from Bourgon Construction, which was more than $100,000 higher than the amount that the township had originally budgeted for the project.

The goal of the project was to build an open concept general purpose assembly facility 24′ by 30′. Bourgon estimated that to build such a project would cost roughly $283 per sq. ft. plus an additional $100,000 to connect it to water and sewage and another $40,000 to do the parking lot, sidewalks and site grading.

Some councillors vocally expressed their dissatisfaction with the price tag of the bid.

“These are very upsetting numbers,” said Deputy Mayor Lyle Warden. “You could make a very nice house for that money.”

Mayor Frank Prevost pointed out that there are different standards for a building such as the one that was being considered than for a straightforward house, for instance, the requirement for it to be accessible.

“It isn’t being built as a post disaster structure, is being built as an assembly hall, which has different standards than a residential home,” said Ewen MacDonald, the Township’s General Manager of Infrastructure Services. “I won’t suggest that we weren’t surprised by this pricing either, but our review has not shown anything out of line.”

Councillors stated that they had taken it upon themselves to seek out quotes from other contractors.

“I called three different contractors and asked for rough numbers, high numbers. $104 to $140,” said Councillor Sam McDonell. “$39,000 to frame a building that has no interior walls. I think these numbers are way out to lunch and someone is making a lot of money off of us.”

MacDonald explained that if Council voted to cancel the tender for now, there was a possibility that the cost would be lower come the spring when contractors are less busy.

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