City Operations Centre Project
- Original building constructed in the 1950’s
- Need for replacement identified 10 years ago
- Currently six different and aging Public Works and Parks administration/storage/maintenance sites across the City
- Existing shop maintenance bays no longer adequate in terms of servicing today's larger equipment like the snowplows, evacuator trucks and fire trucks
- No proper heated storage for equipment (necessary in winter for most large heavy equipment with hydraulics, and heated storage also extends equipment longevity
- Very cramped, inadequate facilities and change rooms for roadworks, water services and maintenance staff, and no separate female washroom, shower or change area
- No hot water in the facility as the system no longer met building codes and needed a $50,000 hot water system replacement
- Hydrocarbon contamination of the site discovered in 2019. Hydrocarbon vapours exceed regulatory amounts making it unsafe for staff to be working on the site.
Satellite Photos of the Six Existing Public Works/Parks Sites: (click for full-size)
Photos of the Overcrowded Staff Changing Area (prior to COVID-19), and Some Equipment and Existing Supplies Storage Areas: (click for full-size)
- The six existing Public Works and Parks sites spread across the City will be amalgamated into two: a main operations building and a fleet storage building, plus fencing around the stockpile site. This creates efficiencies in terms of:
- travel time for staff
- maintenance, with an efficient and much larger shop area designed for today’s large equipment like graders, snowplows, evacuator trucks and fire trucks
- Heated fleet storage facilities (necessary in winter for critical equipment, particularly those pieces with advanced hydraulic systems, and important to extend longevity of equipment)
- Storage area for 15,000 tonnes of granular (gravel) inventory supplies for roadwork worth $500,000; water and sewage pipes for underground infrastructure maintenance; paint supplies for street line painting; chemicals and pesticides; equipment parts etc.
- Preliminary replacement estimate in 2013 was $30 M
- Once design concepts were refined to fit specific needs, and following close scrutiny by Council and Administration, the cost was brought down to $16.5 M
- Site work including remediation on both parcels of land account for over $4 M of the total project costs.
- Two new buildings will be constructed on the existing site following remediation: an Operations Centre ($10,000,000) and a heated fleet storage facility ($2,500,000). The new facilities will meet the City’s operational needs for the next 50 years
- The project is estimated to take 18 months to complete
- Local contractors and sub-trades are expected to benefit with a significant percentage of the work during construction
- The project will also provide a boost to the local economy during construction with workers using hotels, restaurants, etc.
- $8 – 10 million worth of equipment needs to be housed. Some examples include:
- Flusher trucks - $700,000 each
- Graders - $350,000 each
- Snow Plow Trucks - $350,000 each
- Excavators - $400,000 each
- The approved design is for a 40,000 square foot main building (vs 34,821 existing) and a 22,000 square foot fleet storage building (vs 12,600 existing)
- The maintenance shop will continue to service and maintain all City equipment including the complex large items like graders, as well as tractors, mowers etc. for the Parks Department, and all City vehicles
- Service of Fire Department trucks and associated equipment will continue
- Features of the new site will include:
- Main facility - maintenance shop; parts inventory; staff locker rooms; washrooms, lunchroom, training area; administration offices;
- Freeze protected (heated to 5 degrees celcius) fleet storage building
- Yard storage
- Wash bay
- Stockpiles area
- Staff and public parking
Environmental Testing of the Site Indicated the Need For Replacement Was Immediate
A Public Works Department report at the July 29, 2019 Council Meeting outlined the results of a Human Health Risk Assessment conducted at the main Public Works building on York Road East. An indoor air quality investigation identified hydrocarbon vapors exceeding allowable regulated limits. To mitigate risk of staff exposure to hazardous vapors, Fleet Services (including maintenance services)were temporarily relocated to alternate locations. Opening maintenance shop bay doors regularly to increase ventilation allowed remaining staff to remain on site until construction trailers were operational at the City’s stockpile site located on Fourth Avenue North.
Approval for Tendering
In December, 2019 Council directed Administration to proceed to tender the City Operations Center project including the Main Building, the Fleet and Cold Storage Building and all required site works. The City retained the services of Collier’s Project Leaders to review the tender
documents prior to advertising the project. The purpose for the review was to identify inconsistencies and areas of possible contention in the tender documents. This report helped the design team finalize tender documents to reduce the need for changes after the contract is
On February 4, 2020 the project was advertised with Sask Tenders, the Regina Construction Association and the Saskatoon Construction Association. The tender period was five weeks, and a private opening was held at Stantec’s Regina office on March 10 (all tenders come before open Council for approval before the successful bid is awarded).
Ten General contractors from Saskatchewan submitted tender packages. With the exception of the highest bid, tender prices were within approximately 10% of each other. For recent major city construction projects we may receive up to three tenders, with usually only two meeting our qualifications. Receiving 10 very competitive bids indicates companies are looking for work now and that pricing is likely much better than it will be post-Covid-19 when the economy and construction begins ramping up again. (Tender chart below).
Contruction Value (Principle)
|PCL Construction Management
|CCR Construction Ltd.
|Dunmac General Contractors
|Ledcor Construction Ltd.
|Quorex Construction Services
|Westridge Construction Ltd.
|Wright Construction Western Inc.
|VCM Construction Ltd.
The City’s City Operations Project Evaluation Committee reviewed the bid packages and recommended awarding the construction of the project to PCL Construction for $16,750,000, less alternate pricing of $500,000. The total price of $16,250,000 is within approved budget and determined to be the best value bid.
To fund large capital projects such as the City Operations Center and Fleet Storage Building, without a special levy on taxes, a long-term planning approach is required. Years of preparation and planning are undertaken. Administration has known about the need for this building for a decade, and as such has taken measures over many years to provide funding for this project without a new levy or one-time increase to taxes.
The years of capital planning, budgeted capital increases, and savings, means the City has the funding in place to cover the debt payments for this project without any additional increase in taxation. The bids are under budget for this project with room to spare. Planned borrowing of $14 M will be more than adequate to cover the project in combination with City reserves. Yorkton is in a very strong financial position, and our debt load, even after borrowing to finance this project, will be less than half our annual revenues. This is significantly lower than comparable jurisdictions.
With this project requiring borrowing, there has not been a better time to obtain financing. The Bank of Canada has recently lowered interest rates by half a percent in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and it is expected to lower it further. The United States has lowered theirs by a full
On a project of this size, a 1% decrease in interest rates, over a 20 year mortgage loan of $14 M, would have a net impact of reducing our total cost of financing by $1.8 M over the payment term.
Project Approved to Proceed April 3, 2020
Final approval for the project to proceed came at a special meeting of Council on April 3, 2020.