RCMP financing, cemetery expansion on March 23 council agenda

The City says the March 23 council meeting will proceed as planned, though some measures are being taken to limit public attendance amid COVID-19 health orders.

Council is to meet at 3 p.m. with an agenda that includes financing approval for the estimated $51.4-million new RCMP detachment, tender awards for the first phase of the Woodlawn Cemetery expansion, and the rescheduling of this year's Community Awards.

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The City has also asked a number of delegations to not attend the meeting for proclamation presentations for Autism Awareness Month and Sikh Heritage Month. The proclamations will still be made.

Here's the major business at a glance:

RCMP HQ

The latest cost estimate for the new RCMP building is $51,434,379, "based on a post-disaster, net-zero, three-storey mass timber building with a single-storey concrete cellblock and 159 new flat surface parking stalls."

But that's still a loose guess, according to report from corporate services manager David Joy, who notes the accuracy of the March 16 estimate could be up to 18% higher or lower than that.

Costs for the new detachment could be as high as $60.6 million or as low as $43.5 million. "It is an order of magnitude estimate with significant design and pricing allowances for items not yet determined," Joy writes.

Council is to consider first three readings of a bylaw to authorize the borrowing of up to $22.75 million for the construction. Financing for the rest will come from capital reserves, and RCMP will pay for its 37.5% share of the building through lease payments over 20 years once the building is operational. The cost of borrowing is equivalent to the amount from the lease payments.

"There will be no related tax burden for the City's property owners," Joy writes.

The borrowing is subject to elector approval. If 10% submit opposition, the City will be required to go to referendum, Joy writes.

Cemetery, streetlight tenders

City administration is recommending council approve a $849,836 tender to Northern Legendary Construction for the first phase of its planned expansion. That includes 400 plots, 24 "green burial" plots, columbaria, and a scattering garden. The city budgeted the cost this year at $1.25 million.

Administration is also recommending council approve a $515,000 tender to RGM Contracting of Edmonton for 96th Street traffic signals and street lighting. The intersection at 96 Street and 96 Avenue needs upgrades before the start of the 100 Street rebuild to manage the rerouting of traffic during construction.

Community Awards

Council is being asked to postpone the Community Awards on April 30 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recreation services director Karin Carlson says the City is taking precautions and limiting gatherings of 10 or more people for public health safety. No alternative plan is proposed, but council is being asked for direction.

Electric cars

Council is being asked to apply for a grant to install two new electric car charging stations, and contribute $12,000, or 50% of the costs.

Parkwood public hearing

A public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. on zoning amendments for the proposed Parkwood Southlands development adjacent to the West Bypass Road.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at editor@ahnfsj.ca. 

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