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City to revisit building public washrooms in 2018

A 2017 rendering of the washrooms that were to be built in Matthews Park and near the Skate Park. Photo by City of Fort St. John.
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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The City of Fort St. John is once again going to look at getting public washrooms built in Matthews Park and at the skate park in Toboggan Hill Park after not going ahead with a proposed design last year due to high costs.

At Monday’s regular meeting, councillor Bruce Christensen inquired about whether the City was going to revisit getting public washrooms installed in the two parks after Council voted against building the washrooms last September. A report stated that two bids from local companies to build the washrooms came in nearly $90,000 and $190,000 respectively over the city’s $380,000 budget.

The City’s General Manager of Community Services Wally Ferris explained that the tenders issued last year were for a specific custom design that was drawn up so that the City could have a standard off-the-shelf design that would provide commonality for future public washrooms. He said that the City did test the market prior to issuing the original tenders for the washrooms, which were larger in size.

When asked why both bids received were much higher than the City’s budget, Ferris explained that the City did test the market before putting out the tender for the washrooms. Two of the bids came in high but a third, while also over budget, was much closer.

The City adjusted the size of the washrooms and reissued the tender, but Ferris said that the original lowest bidder did not end up submitting a bid. He said that after the bids for the tender came back, staff decided that there was not enough value for money for the custom washroom designs, and that the City would look at pre-fabricated designs that have a much lower cost.

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