Arena funding in jeopardy

MORRISBURG – In preparing the scope of work for the planned replacement of the Morrisburg Arena ice slab, engineers identified a problem that is in danger of putting an end to the project and the $316,000 Trillium funding contribution that the Municipality of South Dundas was awarded for the project.

Barry Bryan and Associates, the firm hired to define the scope of work, identified significant cracking and spalling of six of the structural columns located on the south side of the arena that needed further inspection.

According to Ben Macpherson, director of recreation and buildings for South Dundas, that inspection showed that the column repairs need to take place before the slab work can start.

The project is already on a tight time line because of the need for completion in the off season for ice time commitments, but also to be able to take advantage of the funding.

South Dundas staff have been trying to get the project deadline for the funding pushed back, to no avail.

“Currently three different staff at Trillium have denied the request citing that the funds are for Canada 150 celebrations and projects are required to be completed before the fiscal year end of March 2018,” Macpherson told council its April 18th meeting.

Staff recommended that work be halted on the slab replacement project. Halting the project would mean that South Dundas would have to relinquish the $315,000 Trillium funding.

In the end council decided to sole source the necessary arena repairs to the columns and building to do its best to try to salvage the funding and as much of the ice time as possible for the next season.

While the column work, which should take about three weeks to complete is taking place, South Dundas will prepare and advertise the tender for the slab work.

The repair work is estimated to cost about $75,000.