MD OF BIGHORN – The MD of Bighorn has engaged the services of a third-party consulting firm to help it identify future sites for municipal buildings.
Chief Administrative Officer Robert Ellis recommended council award the contract to MTA Urban Design, Architecture, Interior Design Inc. at a special meeting on Jan. 26.
"Successive administrations have been grappling with the issue of finding land and providing new municipal buildings," Ellis said. "The most pressing need right now being an operations shop, and also the administrative building, and then a fire hall and possible library.
"We have been working on this really for the last 10 years and it has now come to fruition that we should move forward and ... if anything, get that [operation shop] started first."
A request for proposals for the contracted work was issued in November, 2020. Ellis said six responses were received and a short list of three finalists assessed. MTA was the successful proponent and is now tasked with completing a facility needs assessment and analysis of future potential development sites.
Council went in-camera for a short period of time to discuss the details of the contract, prior to unanimously approving it.
The MD of Bighorn's 2020-25 corporate strategic plan sets direction for the municipality to find a site for and construct a new 10,000-square-foot operations shop, based on a 2010 facility needs assessment report.
The operations shop would house public works equipment, supplies and five staff members, space for up to four more desks, a lunch and locker room, an area large enough to accommodate an emergency operations centre and a 10,000-square-foot storage yard.
There is also direction in the strategic plan for a new office building for the municipality. The current office is more than 30 years old and is built out of ATCO trailers, which have a limited life span.
The new office building, according to the 2010 facility needs assessment, would need to be 13,040-square-feet in size and house council chambers and municipal offices, as well as parking for up to 50 vehicles.
Council approved $50,000 in its 2020 budget to hire the consultant.