Council backs Mill Market move

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The town council has accepted a tender to relocate the factory market, but is suspending the extension of the promenade from Bondar Marina until at least next year.

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Staff recommended that Ruscio General Contracting win the tender for the relocation of Mill Market to 73 Brock Street at the negotiated price of $2,994,000.

This award requires an additional municipal contribution of $946,694.

Staff recommended that the shortfall be funded using the $200,000 previously committed for the boardwalk project and an additional contribution of $746,694 from uncommitted capital transportation funds from previous years.

Council’s approval of the recommendation means staff will be asking FedNor to extend the $500,000 funding for the boardwalk project so the city can restart the project in the spring of 2023.

Bids for this project exceeded the approved budget and the contract will not be awarded this year.

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Mill Market is now at capacity with 40 vendors, said community services manager Brent Lamming. Brock Street can add five mobile units to add to the existing 40.

District 4 Com. Marchy Bruni was ‘really stuck’ on where shoppers would park downtown when Mill Market attracted 3,000 browsers.

Lamming said there are 550 municipal parking spaces within a block radius of the new Mill Market home. There’s a “constant flow” as shoppers come and go, he told Bruni. The third time adviser also asked how the building would be used on days when the market is not working. Vair said there was “a lot of interest” in the building from various groups, including cultural associations, seniors and school boards.

“There’s a lot of optimism,” Vair said, that the building will be in daily use.

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Several councilors expressed their strong support for the Mill Market move.

The current building on Canal Drive “is not in good condition,” Ward 1 Coun said. Paul Christian, who attended the online meeting. He compared the old hatchery to a barn.

“It’s old,” said Christian. “It’s leaking.”

The building is also not connected to the sewer system, Vair said.

Ward 1 County Sandra Hollingsworth asked if other anchors besides Mill Market are being considered to help draw residents to the Downtown Plaza that will be built nearby.

“I would say no,” said Tom Vair, deputy general manager of community development and business services.

District 3 Com. Matthew Shoemaker wanted to wait for firm federal funding before starting the project.

“It makes a lot more sense,” he said.

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The city’s efforts to attract businesses and families, support businesses and revitalize downtown are all boosted by a new Mill Market, Ward said. 5 Conv. Corey Gardi.

“This project clearly checks all of those boxes,” he said. “This is a one-in-a-generation project…I’m very supportive of that.”

Gardi’s companion, Matthew Scott, did not support the decision, calling the proposed structure “less than one building for more than one price”.

District 3 Com. Donna Hilsinger said the Mill Market on Brock Street will “completely change” the atmosphere of downtown.

“It’s not worth the wait,” she said.

Mayor Christian Provenzano welcomes any potential downtown parking issues caused by the new Mill Market home and calls the city’s cash commitment “money well spent.”

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The special council meeting was called to deal with the tenders on the last possible day when the outgoing city council had to make any decision requiring major expenditure.

While council nominations close at 2 p.m. Friday, the existing council begins operating with “restricted powers” ​​until after the October 24 municipal elections.

Commonly referred to as a “lame duck” council, routine business can continue to be carried out, but major decisions or major expenditures cannot, as it could create a burden on the next council.

The Ontario Municipalities Act states that there are four restrictions on “lame” councils. For the remainder of the term, council may not appoint or remove any officer of the municipality, hire or remove any staff member, dispose of any municipal property exceeding $50,000 or approve any expenditure exceeding $50,000.

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In June, the City Council took steps to move forward with its plan to relocate Mill Market to Brock Street by launching the tender, although it did not receive its first attempt to federal government funding.

At that time, the board approved an expenditure of $1.4 million for the project from various funding sources.

The Board also approved an advance of up to $410,000 from its internal funds to cover leasehold improvements at Mill Market, which that organization is to repay over a 25-year payback period.

A total of three bids for the Mill Market project have been received, all on project estimates.

Staff engaged in a negotiation process with the lowest bidder, Ruscio General Contracting, to bring the project closer to the estimate range. The $3,389,000 tender has been reduced to $2.99 ​​million (HST extra).

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Tom Vair, director of community development and business services for the city, said in his report that “the increased cost to complete the project was not unexpected, given the results of other projects recently tendered by the city. city ​​and other ongoing public projects in the community”.

Supply chain issues, labor costs and fuel prices are driving up costs, he said.

Changes to reduce project costs include replacing a metal cladding component with a combination of masonry and stucco, which saved $245,000. Public Works will also install site services, curb and asphalt work, which will save an additional $150,000 from the original quoted price.

Vair recommended that the boardwalk promenade tender project be put on hold for the year, as tenders nearly doubled the $700,000 budgeted for the project.

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Future savings could also be realized by the Mill Market Board, as its funding applications to the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings Program are still ongoing.

The Mill Market project is designed to complement the Downtown Plaza and create synergies between adjacent sites. It is part of the city’s downtown revitalization strategy.

The current Mill Market location was always intended to be temporary and this existing facility requires significant capital investment and upgrades.

The Mill Market project was successful with an application for funding from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Rural Economic Development (RED) program for $250 $000. Additionally, the Mill Market is contributing $40,000 to the project from its reserve funds as well as ongoing rent payments to help pay for tenant improvements, according to a report to the council states.

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