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Library repairs go over $26,000 tender

Historic masonry walls often have the 'fired' or waterproof brick on the outside with unfired brick behind. The backing brick is more fragile and more susceptible to the freeze thaw cycle if water has penetrated the wall.

By Ross Lees
Prince Edward County council staff will spend the next few days looking for sufficient funds to finish the Picton library branch capital project as repairs to the structure of the library have run $26,000 more than expected.
Bruce Downey, architect for the project, said problems were discovered about a year ago and tenders sought shortly thereafter. Originally, the masonry work was broken into two phases, as were anticipated repairs to the roof, but when the construction began, it was determined the work on the roof needed to be done to protect the masonry work and prevent a re-occurrence of problems.
In a presentation to the committee of the whole Thursday, Downey noted, “This type of building shows where it is hurting,” and now that they have identified the problems, they would like to proceed with the repairs while taking advantage of a very competitive price offered by the current contractor.
Councillor Alec Lunn said the project was important enough that the funds should be found somewhere and used to complete this project.
“This building is extremely important and it belongs to us,” he said. “This is a very serious problem and we should deal with it.”
Councillor Bev Campbell questioned implications of not doing the repairs right away if the necessary funds could not be found, but Downey indicated it would just be delaying the issue and that work done on the project now might be in jeopardy in another two years.
“It is very important to stop the water from getting into the top of the wall,”  Downey stated. “It is easier to fix now without actually disturbing the function of the library.”
It is expected work on the roof will begin within a week or two and the library would like to be able to advise the contractor to proceed with the necessary work at that time.
Committee of the whole passed a motion asking staff to attempt to find funds and report back to council for the May 24 meeting. Staff was instructed to review the library resources to determine if at least some of the additional funding could come from there.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Doris Lane says:

    Was the work to be done on the library put out for tender in the first place or was it just given to one contractor? A full assessment of a job should be undertaken before any work is done on any building. Cost overruns are very common in construction but should not happen if a competent person is in charge. It is of course a historic building and maybe funds could be found from the provincial or federal government. they like to give away money for unnecessary things.
    The other problem is that the County is facing problems with some of its other buildings and since there is no money in the County coffers, what is to be done about these buildings. Maybe the last council should have spent more wisely and not built unnecessary structures and did unnecessary maintenance.
    I noticed in the council plans for the next 4 years there is not one mention of finding a way to reduce the deficit, which is the most important thing that is at stake now.
    Even the Feds are planning to reduce their staff. when someone leaves they are not replaced. Why can’t we just promote someone on staff instead of looking for more new people

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