Council approves first reading of 2019 mill rate bylaw

City also greenlights new contracts during April 29 meeting

Now that the 2019 financial plan has been finalized, Thompson city council used their April 29 meeting to begin cementing some of the spending within it into law.

This includes the first reading of the levy bylaw that will officially increase the overall residential mill rate by 1.97 per cent (40.431 to 41.228) and the commercial mill rate by 1.58 per cent (50.201 to 50.998).

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Councillors Duncan Wong and Jeff Fountain voted against first reading, but the rest of council (except an absent Coun. Andre Proulx) were in favour of it.

Second and third reading are set to take place at council’s May 13 meeting, two days before they have to submit their budget to the province.

Council also used this meeting to pass the first reading of a bylaw that cancelled a $291,591 debenture on the Norplex Pool. The facility officially closed its doors for good on Feb. 13 due to severe infrastructure failings and safety concerns, which means this portion of the debenture can no longer be used.

However, the city is still stuck with paying $48,408, since it already spent that amount from the original borrowing request of $340,000 back in 2018.

New city contracts

The city’s finalized financial plan also gave council the basis to approve several work and supply contracts for tasks like equipment/building maintenance, sewer renewal and road construction.

They unanimously passed a resolution to enter into a new two-year agreement with Jarvis HVAC/R Inc. to provide heating, ventilation and air conditioning maintenance for the city. Throughout the winter of 2019, Jarvis picked up where the recently departed Wescan Mechanical Services left off by restoring heat to the Thompson Public Library, which council recognized on Monday by paying the company $32,543 for these repairs.

The hourly rate for a Jarvis journeyman technician is $60, although that cost will increase by $5 in 2020.

Councillors also approved a pair of two-year contracts to NAPA Auto Parts ($16,724) and Kennedy Energy ($447,289) to provide lubricant/oil and refined fuel, respectively.

Pedestrian infrastructure remains a big priority for the city, since they approved a $1,119,987 contract with Nelson River Construction to build a new multi-use path. This new path is set to start at the intersection of Mystery Lake Road and Thompson Drive South and run along Burntwood Road, Weir Road and Campbell Drive, eventually ending up at Despins Road.

One of the highest cost items from Monday’s meeting was a $2,971,007 agreement with Smook Contractors Ltd. to continue working on the city’s sewer renewal project, which will target Burntwood Road and Riverside Drive in 2019.

The only resolution that council outright rejected was for a five-year contract with Cummins Western Canada to provide generator load testing at some of the city’s key facilities.

Coun. Brian Lundmark opposed the total price tag of $110,872, saying the city’s previous contract with this company was roughly half that amount. 

The majority of his fellow council members followed suit and the city will renegotiate and retender this contract in three months’ time.

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