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Council agrees to fast-track greenhouse for Lakeside Park

Timothy Schafer
By Timothy Schafer
February 11th, 2016

The greenhouse effect is still rippling through Nelson long after the June 2015 storm has passed.

The city is still grappling with the after effects of the storm as it continues to work with its insurer to resolve a claim submitted over the destruction of a Lakeside Park greenhouse structure.

Although informal discussions with the insurer indicate there is a good likelihood that the costs associated with the new greenhouse would be covered by the insurance company, the conversations have not guaranteed the city would actually receive reimbursement.

However, city council agreed last week to foot the bill in advance for the greenhouse — a total of $81,700 — and assume the risk of the outcome of the insurance claim.

“I think we need to get this greenhouse back up,” said Coun. Janice Morrison. “We are all in favour of getting a greenhouse back up and in the park.”

During the storm last year wind speed reached 105 kilometres per hour due to a downdraft related to thunderstorm activity. The storm resulted in many larges trees being uprooted, damage to property and loss of power to many Nelson Hydro customers.

It was a falling tree that crushed one of the greenhouses in Lakeside Park. This greenhouse was used by the city and also by the Seniors Economic Environment Development Society (SEEDS), which holds a non-exclusive license of occupation with the city.

Since the storm took place city crews have demolished the remains of the existing structure and the city has filed a claim with its insurer.

“I would think you wouldn’t even know, at this point, that we had that huge storm come through,” said Mayor Deb Kozak about the $1 million overall clean up the city preformed in the previous months.

“And this is another instance of us doing clean up and making things right again.”

As well, city staff has investigated potential greenhouse suppliers and have identified a new greenhouse structure that will meet the needs of the city. Staff has proposed buying the “curved eave” model greenhouse from Everlast Greenhouses and Solariums Ltd.

Unfortunately there have been a number of delays related to the adjuster finalizing the insurance report, which has prevented the insurer from providing a final decision on the city’s claim.

“Due to the time frames associated with the procurement and construction of a new greenhouse, staff desires to proceed with the procurement of the greenhouse at this time, in order to have the greenhouse ready for the impending spring season,” read a city staff report from Colin Innes, city director of public works and utilities.

Proceeding with the purchase of the greenhouse in advance of receiving formal approval from the insurer allows for the spring planting season to be managed with the plant deliveries.

“This also allows for the work to be done in Lakeside Park ahead of the busy tourist season,” said Innes.

But discussions with the insurer have led staff to believe it is likely that only the $52,900 cost of the greenhouse structure would be covered by the insurance company. It is also possible the $16,800 for the Everlast installation supervisor and crew might be covered by the insurance company.

The only cost that might not be covered is the $12,000 cost related to the replacement of the concrete pad and footings, with the insurance company contending the concrete was not damaged during the storm.

Coun Robin Cherbo noted the city staff recommended the greenhouse go back in the former location, “since there was not much else we could use for that piece of land.

“We will be also looking at different heating systems,” for the greenhouse, he added.

Innes said the new greenhouse does not fit onto the existing concrete pad footprint.

“Prefabricated greenhouse models are built to set dimensions and are not customized to fit a pre-existing pad,” he said in a report to council.

Therefore the city is contending the cost of the concrete pad and footings should receive reimbursement.

Proceeding with a modular greenhouse design allows for the city to add to the greenhouse should future demand warrant.

This ability to “add on” presents the city with an option to decommission and sell the existing Grow More Greenhouse, that will soon need reskinning, said Innes.

It will also allow for the removal of the 1986 boiler and boiler building, since the Everlast greenhouse uses high efficiency forced air furnaces.

“This configuration would also create more physical space by the Rotary Shelter in Lakeside Park, since the decommissioning of the existing Grow More Greenhouse would open up some park space,” said Innes in his report.

He noted that the potential future add on would cost $23,890 for the supply of the greenhouse, $5,000 for supervision, $8,700 for crew installation and $7,000 for concrete and footings.

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