By Cole Parkinson
With work beginning to wrap up at the Municipal District of Taber’s new operations and maintenance building, administration has set a date to showcase the facility.
The site isn’t expected to be fully completed until late August or early September and staff continues to work hard at the site to make sure it is ready for that date.
“We received the keys officially on Friday (July 13). Substantial completion has been reached. Public works is on site right now completing dirt work, replacement of top soil and tying the building into to surround topography. The work there is expected to continue until mid-August and the next phase will be moving storage and construction of the fence. We expect that to happen in the first week of September,” said Derrick Krizsan, CAO for the M.D. of Taber at council’s regular meeting on July 17.
In terms of the open house, administration and staff viewed early August as the best window, as it would give the public complete, full access to the entire building.
Once the building is in operation, an open house would be more limited as equipment would be in place and the facility would have to be shut down to facilitate walkthroughs.
“We are suggesting an open house when the building is empty. An operating facility when crews are in there, there could be some safety issues and it makes it more difficult. We’re suggesting sometime within the first two weeks of August to hold the open house,” added Krizsan. “When the building is empty, it provides unlimited access.”
Many on council though felt that an early August date would be too soon to show the new building.
One point brought up had the view that showcasing a facility that wasn’t fully built wouldn’t be the best route to take.
“I think I’d rather show it when everything is ready to go and it’s operational,” said Coun. Jen Crowson.
A later date further from completion was also suggested as to give time to work out any potential issues the building may face.
“I think an October date, there’s no rush. I know people want to see it, but once it’s open, people can go and see it. It’s not uncommon to do an open house once the wrinkles are settled,” said Coun. Tamara Miyanaga.
Other councillors stated that having it in October may present challenges for not only them, but other farmers as harvest would still be going at that point.
Administration also singled out holding off the date would also leave the building in a less new state.
On top of that, the open house would have to restrict access to every office in the building as different plans and documents not for public viewing would more than likely be found inside.
“If we start in October, there will be areas like offices where they will be off-limits because there will be documents and materials that are not for public use,” said Krizsan.
Reeve Brian Brewin also saw some benefits of holding the event right off the top.
“There is some merit to not having all of the equipment in there.”
Eventually, council settled on August 1 as the date to hold the open house, running from 3-8 p.m., with the building located west of Taber on Highway 3.