Council shelling out $8,500 to upgrade replacement quonset building for public works equipment

Most of cost covered by insurance on previous building, which collapsed due to heavy snowfall in April 2020

Thompson city council breezed through their meeting agenda in half-an-hour Sept. 21, about a third of which was spent discussing the purchase of a new quonset building to store equipment in at the public works yard.

The old quonset building collapsed as a result of heavy snow in April and the cost of replacing it is being covered by the city’s insurance company, but council voted unanimously at shell out an extra $8,508.18 to purchase a slightly larger version than the old one from Winkler Structures.

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The total cost for the new quonset, which is 38 feet by 120 feet, is $73,381.04, while insurance will cover $64,872.86. The previous building, which was used for about a decade, measured 38 feet by 100 feet. The extra space will enable the public works department to store two extra pieces of equipment – most likely a front-end loader and an additional tandem truck – out of the snow, along with the two graders, three tandem trucks, loader-mounted snowblower and the Thompson Fire & Emergency Services rescue boat that were stored in thew previous building.

Coun. Duncan Wong asked why the resolution was being brought straight to council now without going through the public works or finance and administration committees.

“Only on Friday did we receive word from our insurance company that the cost would be covered and that we could go with a larger building,” said public works director Neil MacLaine. “The prices we just received on Friday. That’s why this did not make to the public works committee, did not make it to the finance committee. In order to try to have it installed before the snowfall comes we want to try to get this pushed through so that we can place the order. As soon as the materials are delivered to Thompson, the company will come and set  it up.”

Delivery of the materials will take about two to three weeks and then it will take two to three days to set up, MacLaine said.

“Obviously this is a short timeline but it’s something that needs to be repaired and put back before snowfall,” said Coun. Kathy Valentino. 

The additional cost for the larger quonset will come from the small capital budget, which is $85,000 for the 2020 budget year.

Council also approved spending $20,000 towards interior painting of the public safety building at the meeting and passed a road opening bylaw for a parcel of land along Arctic Drive that the city hopes to use for construction of a multi-use path. The land was acquired in a trade with the School District of Mystery Lake in exchange for land used to expand the Wapanohk Community School staff parking lot.

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