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Parameters of Hall Street Pier project questioned as costs and features increase

Timothy Schafer
By Timothy Schafer
February 16th, 2021

The Hall Street Pier project is less about dollars and more about spirit, the city’s mayor says.

John Dooley told city council recently — when the features and current estimated costs of the project were updated — that the replacement of the pier is not just about renewing a piece of infrastructure for Nelson.

He said there was a bigger piece to the pier puzzle, and it did not center around tourism.

“There is a community pride piece attached to this. I think this project demonstrates to the community … that everything we do is done well, whether it is a pipe underground or a pole on the waterfront,” he said.

“It makes you feel good about where we live.

“I think we have the ingenuity and the ability of the people in our community and on our staff to deliver a project that the people in our community will love, that people who visit our community will admire.”

Dooley explained there was already a $250,000 commitment from the community toward the $1.75 million total funding needed for the project — with $884,500 in additional funding required — during tough financial times caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those costs — including the addition of the LadyBird exhibit of one of the fastest boats in the region in the mid 1920s and 1930s — were questioned by some on council in the latest chapter of the pier project.

“We built the Civic Centre in the Depression, that’s our history and that’s who we are as a community. You are right we have to be thoughtful; you are right we have to be prudent, but it shouldn’t stifle imagination, ingenuity and vision of our community. And it’s never been more important than it is today,” Dooley said at the end of the debate. “We have an obligation to always be moving the community forward as elected officials.”

Architect Matthew Stanley of Stanley Office of Architecture appeared before council on Jan. 29 to provide a project update for the Hall Street Pier Project, regarding the evolution of the design through the detailed design process and the currently estimated project costs.

City staff recommended an “option D” that included the most elements, satisfied the scope of the applied for funding and required the least amount of additional funding to be secured. It was recommended that the option be considered during the current 2021 budget deliberation process. — Submitted

As the third revision of the project scope, city staff requested that the Ladybird enclosure be included in this phase of the project so it could be included as part of a federal CERIP grant application.

The revised project scope included:

  • replacement of piles;
  • pier with lower floating docks;

  • multiple canopy structures

  • re-decking with locally sourced wood products;

  • construction with locally sourced wood and wood products; and
  • Ladybird enclosure

“If you wanted to take the funding out of this and wait and do any one of these projects you could and the overall cost would be done, but it wouldn’t satisfy the funding applied for,” said architect Matthew Stanley of Stanley Office of Architecture.

“There are several components to the project and it’s not an all or nothing proposition.”

The various options can be swapped out and done in phases as the money is available, Stanley said in his presentation to council on Jan. 29.

Where the project is at right now was very different from where it was a year ago, he added.

“The way we should be viewing this now is very much as a master plan for the redevelopment of the pier site. It’s a series of shovel ready projects and a series of shovel ready drawings that the city now has at its disposal to use as funding becomes available,” Stanley said.

City manager Kevin Cormack said the city did not have to consider any of the options, of which there were six.

“Certainly, council has the option to choose to not to proceed and not spend those grants, and you even have the option that now we know those pilings are at the end of life just to remove the structure altogether and do something completely different on that piece of the waterfront,” he said.

Coun. Rik Logtenberg felt the project was “really expensive,” and carried a cost that competed with other more important priorities in the city.

“I don’t think we should be chasing grants if it’s going to balloon the overall cost. There has got to be a way to do this better,” he said, without the LadyBird display.

Pier project

A schematic drawing produced by the Stanley Office of Architecture (SOA) and a Class D estimate was produced by LEC Group, in the value of $1,225,600 was used to obtain a CBT grant of $500,000 for the project.

In addition, a subsequent CERIP grant has been applied for (in the value of $1 million) to help bolster the project budget.

The project budget is currently dependent on the identification of grant funding and in-kind service commitments made by local third-party partners.

The local third-party partners were selected for their expertise in various scopes of the project. The local third-party partners include: Kalesnikoff, Spearhead, Drop Design, Porcupine, Nelco Marine and Kootenay Lake Barge and Pile.

SOA was engaged to begin production of the detailed design on July 3, 2020.

On Sept. 2, 2020 council received an update from SOA and a request to provide direction with regard to options for pile replacement (due to identified structural concerns). At that time, council approved a budget increase of $110,000, to address the issue with the piles.

Since that time the design process has progressed, and the city has been working on updating the cost estimate to reflect the development in the design. The current estimate of project cost produced by the city is $3,368,185.

Due to the increase in the estimated project cost, SOA was requested to provide a brief summary of the evolution of the project scope and to discuss how the evolution of scope has impacted the overall pricing.

Source: City of Nelson

Categories: General

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