Next step in Matilda overhaul under scrutiny

MORRISBURG – Over the last couple of years, bit by bit, Matilda Hall has been undergoing a modernization and the next bit is almost ready to proceed.

The next step, recently tendered, includes new flooring in the hallways and bathrooms, new bathroom stalls and fixtures, sinks and vanities and paint.

The tender closed August 12 and was brought to council to retain a contractor at a special meeting August 25 – but that didn’t happen.

The lowest tender bid came from Solid General Contractors Inc. at almost $122,000.

It was one of three companies who bid on the project. The next lowest bid was $131,000 from J&M Contracting.

South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds asked David Jansen, director of parks, recreation and facilities, if he checked references.

“I called one and it was positive,” said Jansen.

“I’ve never heard of this company, where are they from,” asked South Dundas councillor Lloyd Wells.

Jansen told council they are from Richmond Hill in the GTA.

Wells who has long been a proponent of the municipality requiring performance bonding, asked if there is a performance bond in the contract being presented.

“There’s a 10 per cent lien hold-back, and an option for a performance bond if deemed necessary,” said Jansen.

“I can’t stress the importance of having a performance bond in there enough,” said Wells. “Without it, we’re potentially leaving the municipality in a very difficult situation.”

“Basing this on one reference is pretty risky,” agreed South Dundas deputy mayor Kirsten Gardner. “The bond is important.”

“It’s nice to be getting this project underway, council has waited a long time for this,” said South Dundas councillor Donald Lewis, however he shared the concerns of his fellow council members.

“I have concerns too,” said South Dundas councillor Archie Mellan. “If they start the project and then walk away, we’d end up with a hall closed for weeks or months.”

Mayor Byvelds agreed, saying that it’s much easier for a company from so far away to walk away from an unfinished project. He added that there’s enough questions, comments and concerns from council that awarding the contract should be deferred until the next council meeting to allow staff time to address those concerns.

Council unanimously agreed.

This project is being funded partially through a $42,420 grant from the Canada Community Revitalization Fund, the sale of assets reserve fund and the recreation and facility reserve.

Once the project is approved and started it should take about 10 weeks to complete.

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