County approves much cheaper alternative

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A portable modular building could soon be located next to the Joussard Fire Hall to accommodate more office space.

At its regular meeting Sept. 12, Big Lakes County council approved a recommendation to purchase and retrofit a portable unit for $100,000 for office and storage space.

“Administration found a portable office unit for sale that would free up space in the Joussard Fire hall and is a functional alternative to the proposed fire hall expansion where tenders came in at around $1 million,“ says a report to council from Deputy CAO Jordan Panasiuk.

“It’s in really good shape and it’s right here in town.”

The 12 x 60-foot unit will be purchased for $35,000, then renovated at a cost of up to $65,000 including siding with a peaked roof and utilities.

“Office space in Joussard is really cramped,” says Vic Abel, director of public works.

Space would be used for Big Lakes Family and Community Services, which shares the building.

“It would be beneficial for FCSS and the fire services and create more privacy space for both,” fire chief John McDermott says.

Panasiuk told council a decision was needed during the meeting since the unit was scheduled to go up for auction on Oct. 2.

Plans to expand the building were extinguished at a meeting Aug. 22 after council received and rejected tenders to expand the fire hall and municipal services building.

Tenders came in at more than twice the budgeted figure of $484,070. The county received tenders of $1,345,000 and $988,488, while one bid of $1,094,700 was not completed.

Tenders were called to expand the building to include another bay for the public works department, and storage and office space.


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