A fire non-fire resistant, costs a fortune

News 18 August, 2017
  • Photo: Martin Knight
    The annex to the fire station to Coteau-du-Lac is a two-storey, and will house offices and a dormitory for the firemen.

    Catherine Montambeault

    Friday, 18 August, 2017 06:30

    Friday, 18 August, 2017 06:30

    Look at this article

    After it was done the first time, the expansion of the fire station in Coteau-du-Lac will cost nearly a million dollars in the small municipality, is more than five times the initial price of the project.

    “A project of 185 000 $, we are at over $ 900,000. There are governments that have fallen almost to it ! ” starts with anger Jacques Biron, a town councillor of the City of 7000 souls, located in the Montérégie region.

    Faced with this situation, the six councillors of the Coteau-du-Lac have claimed, in June the resignation of mayor Guy Jasmine. But he swept this proposal to the back of the hand.

    Structure unstable, windows too small to let a human, walls and floors non-fire-resistant… The new annex built within a metre of the fire station was so poorly designed that it must now be redone.

    When the project was launched, in 2015, the City had no plan, architect, or engineering approved by professionals. She was not even granted itself a permit for the construction.

    Even if the building that was to house offices, toilets and a dormitory for the fire department is finished for a long time, it has so far never used it because it is not safe, according to an expert report produced for the City.

    Costly mistakes

    The price of the expansion was initially estimated at 181 000 $. Two years later, the work to bring to standards the brand new building will cost them only about $ 400,000, according to documents obtained by The Newspaper.

    To this amount are added the costs of the works for 2015 and 2016, those of the preparation of plans and specifications for the rehabilitation and supervision of works, for a total of over $ 900,000. This amount represents 10 % of the annual budget of the municipality.

    The project is so sloppy that the building board had to get involved. The agency has issued a finding of a violation of 43 055 $ to the City at the beginning of the month of August for the execution of works of construction “, without being the holder of a licence in force for this purpose.”

    Not my fault

    The mayor believes that the City “has no business to pay” the fine. “It is certain that we will challenge it,” he says. “

    “[The challenge] ? We are guilty ! […] When I asked Mr. Jasmin if it would still cost attorney fees, he told me that we were going to defend themselves, ” growls James Biron.

    The mayor admits that he does not have to receive permits for the construction of the annex and having to change plans along the way without having to validate. He rejects, however, the fault on the general direction of the City, which would have caused him to point out these missteps, according to him.

    “The rules for a fire station, it is much more complicated than anything else, argues Mr. Jasmine. The direction is there, she had nothing to say to me that it would take a permit ! If they had done the job as it should be at the beginning, we would not have gone there. “

    The ministry reprimand to the City

    The Municipality of Coteau-du-Lac has been recalled to the order by the ministry of municipal Affairs and land Occupancy (MAMOT) about the awarding of contracts, following a complaint from a citizen.

    In a letter issued in July, the department indicates that the City has breached several times to the Law on cities and towns. In particular, it has divided the implementation of the expansion of the barracks in a multitude of contracts, without being able to demonstrate how this mode of management was beneficial.

    Division of work

    Two contracts on the same project and the same type of work were also awarded to the same supplier, so that” no grounds of sound administration ” does not justify this division, according to the MAMOT.

    In effect, a contract of 8950 $ and another of $ 19,500 has been allocated for the installation of piles used to stabilise the foundations of the annex to the barracks.

    The total expense associated with this mandate has now exceeded 35 % of the amount agreed at the outset.

    Initiatives bad

    Photo courtesy

    Guy Jasmine

    Mayor of Coteau-du-Lac

    The mayor of Coteau-du-Lac is also substituted for the municipal council and the director-general of the City several times, while this is prohibited.

    Guy Jasmine has directly employed an employee and prevented the suspension of another, so that only the municipal council may, by resolution, make these decisions.

    For repairs of road, the mayor has taken the initiative to negotiate directly with the contractor to reduce the cost of the project.

    He intervened with the municipal officials in the framework of the expansion of the barracks, rather than going through the director-general.