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City awards contract for Wharfinger Building

Agius Builders to construct
Kyle Wells

A contract for construction of the new wharfinger building for the Wharf at Westview project has been awarded by the City of Powell River to Agius Builders Ltd.

As the only bid received by the city, city councillors and Mayor Stewart Alsgard voted at a special council meeting on Friday, July 15 in favour of awarding the local company the $273,107 contract.

Funding for the project comes from the West Coast Community Adjustment Program (WestCCAP), along with Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET).

The city intended construction of the building to be part of the original Wharf at Westview project and the building had been slated for a completion date of March 31, 2011. This changed when hydrocarbons, organic pollutants that contaminate soil, were found in the soil of the building’s proposed site, on the small craft harbours’ property.

Resulting construction delays threatened the loss of funding until WestCCAP agreed to extend the deadline for initial construction, including footings and above ground construction, to August 1, 2011.

Construction is now ongoing and the footings, foundations and walls have now been completed. The city has requested funding deadlines be extended to September 30 at the next WestCCAP meeting on August 25 and have received informal information that request will be met.

Despite some uncertainty surrounding deadlines city staff recommended the project move ahead and the tender be issued for fear that if no progress has been made the deadline will not be extended. Answering a question from Councillor Maggie Hathaway, City Clerk Marie Claxton informed council that if they start building and then funding falls through, the overall Wharf at Westview project has enough room in it to cover the majority of costs of the building.

The new building will now be constructed on the southwest corner of the harbour property. The wood-framed building will be 47 feet by 24 feet and was originally estimated to cost around $500,000. It will be used to house the wharfinger, who acts as the caretaker of the wharf and performs duties associated with its operations. The building will contain office space, a waiting area, four bathrooms with showers, a laundry room, a mechanical and operations room and two half-bathrooms.