By Nikki Jamieson
Tender bids are now being accepted for the the construction of a new maintenance building for the Municipal District of Taber.
During their regular Oct. 11 meeting, the M.D. of Taber council was presented with the plans for the M.D.’s new operations and management facility, which, if approved, would go to tender.
“We’re here today to let you know the building is fully designed,” said Jack Dunsmore, director of planning and infrastructure. “It’s all ready to go to tender, should you wish it.”
The facility will be located about two kilometres west of the town of Taber, south on Highway 3. The facility will include office space, meeting rooms, locker rooms, five working bays, a welding bay, parts storage, multiple equipment lifts and cranes.
One of the major problems with their current facility is the ability to get equipment into and out of the maintenance bays. With over 300 pieces of equipment to maintain, such as light/medium/heavy-duty trucks, fire equipment, motor graders, light/heavy-duty trailers, excavators and packers, if they can’t fit them through a maintenance bay door, then they have problems fixing it.
“Our current crusher configuration, the existing doors that we have don’t allow us to bring that into our shop for preventative maintenance, welding, any kind of fabrication work,” said Craig Pittman, public works superintendent for the M.D. “The challenge we’re having with that piece of equipment is during the summer, spring, fall months, that’s when we want that to be operation, which allows winter-time to do these maintenance things. If we can’t get it into our current facility, that makes welding, all of the above pretty hard to do.”
In the plans for the new facility, this issue is fixed, as the doors are both wide and high enough to fix in all of the M.D.’s existing equipment.
The new facility will replace the M.D.’s current maintenance shop, which had been constructed in 1960. Some of the M.D.’s existing facility buildings date as far back as 1958, with the newest being constructed in 2005, and they sit on a nine-acre site within the Town of Taber.
“During winter, when we got a big storm forecasted, we certainly fill up every single space we can, to get every piece of equipment that we require (inside the buildings),” said Pittman. “It’s certainly not a possibility, to get all of equipment we do require in there, for our winter maintenance. The new building will accommodate a lot more room for staffing equipment, for winter preparation and activities.”
“It served its purpose well over the years. But we’ve outgrown that spot, those buildings. We’ve outgrown it,” said Dunsmore. “The new building will accommodate some of that (equipment) but we still have these (older) building available, at this time, for part of that, for winter for the time being, until you decide, should you do this, decide what you’re plans are for that site.”
In January 2016, the M.D. had announced that they had purchased a 40-acre plot of land to be used as the site for a new municipal maintenance and operations building and, into the future, as the site for other upcoming M.D. facilities. The land, situated between Barnwell and Taber off of a double-lane divided highway with an improved intersection, is large enough to house all municipal operations for the long term, including a council building, and, upon completion of development, the M.D. will be selling its current existing shops and properties that lie within the town.
Council passed a motion to tender the project. Council will review the tenders during its regular Nov. 22 meeting. The M.D.’s in house construction forces will take care of the construction of the civil portions of the facility, which include grading and construction of internal roadways.