It was something Taylor mayor Rob Fraser remembers being discussed in his first term as councillor – that was close to 20 years ago.
On Monday, the vision of a new public works building became reality with a ribbon-cutting ceremony declaring the roughly $2.3 million structure officially open.
“There may still be a few things like paving of the yard and fencing that are not included in that but the building as you see it now, with the apron in the front, and all of the amenities, is included in the $2.3-million price tag,” said the mayor.
“It’s been in the five-year capital plan for probably the last 15 years,” Fraser said light-heartedly.
“The money has been put aside into the building reserve fund and we’ve been able to pull from that to pay for this building.”
The property where the new facility is located on was not the district’s original choice.
“The first location was over behind the rec complex. It just didn’t offer enough synergies. By locating it where it is here now, we can get some synergies with the golf course maintenance yard. We can look at the entire fleet of equipment needed to be maintained out of these two buildings.”
Another benefit, Fraser pointed out, was tapping into an existing natural gas line rather than an earlier-considered source of propane.
The building has also been equipped to act as the dedicated emergency operations centre for the district, with its administration office and fire hall, the two back-up locations, depending just where the emergency incident might be.
For Fraser, though, the best part is that staff can bring larger machinery inside from the cold to be repaired.
“One of the real satisfactions I got was seeing the grader parked inside with a lot of room around it. We’ve never been able to park the grader inside. You could fit pieces of it in to do maintenance on it, but now we have a bay that it will fit in.”
It's believed the new structure will have a shelf life of between 50 and 60 years.
As for the existing workshop behind the district office, Fraser sees upgrades to the smaller structure.
“Our old shop could now be used for cold or warm storage. The building itself is likely to undergo renovations to some degree. All of the equipment in the yard, the fuel tank, will be moved over here. With the yard opened up, maybe, more parking for our staff, to be able to plug in their vehicle and more secure because it’s fenced.”
Those determinations, though, he admitted, will be left to the new incoming council.