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Town of Barrhead councillors award contract for Agrena ice plant upgrades

Project slated to be complete by the end of July
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Town of Barrhead council delayed rewarding a contractor for the upgrades to the Agrena's ice plant until knowing if a suggested equipment change could impact grant funding. Barry Kerton/BL

BARRHEAD-The Town of Barrhead is one step closer to completing upgrades to the Agrena and its ice surface.

At a special Oct. 15 council meeting, councillors unanimously awarded the contract to retrofit the Barrhead Agrena’s ice plant and heating refrigeration system to Trane Canada ULC for $1,298,600.

The question of which company would receive the tender was delayed by a few days. On Oct. 12, councillors unanimously tabled a motion to award the contract to retrofit the ice plant.

Chief administrative officer Edward LeBlanc suggested council delay making a decision until they had time to learn if a substitution of equipment in the proposed winning bid is eligible for $750,000 in funding under the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC) through the Recreation Energy Conservation program.

The good news, he said at the special council meeting, is the substitution will not impact their grant.

The MCCAC is a partnership between the province, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and the Rural Municipalities of Alberta. Its purpose is to help Alberta municipalities, school authorities and other community organizations to lower their carbon footprint by advancing actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower energy costs.

The town's engineering firm (Associated Engineering), after the tender process, recommended Trane Canada ULC be awarded the contract.

Trane Canada was the lowest of the three tenders received at $1,663,600 with the Ice Kube heat pumps and $1,298,600 using the Trane heat pumps. The two other bids received from Daniels Heating and Refrigeration and Goldbar Contractors were for $1,889,500 and $1,811,600, respectively and did not include an option to substitute equipment. None of the quotes includes GST.

The issue first came before the council at their April 13 meeting, when they were asked by the parks and recreation director Shallon Touet to endorse a letter from the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre.

"The retrofit would give us brand new equipment, setting us up for the next 15 to 18 years without anything major happening," he said, adding the majority of the equipment is originally from 1999. "It's definitely at the end or for some of the components past its lifespan."

Touet also noted that the freon material used as the refrigerant for six of the seven heat pumps in the ice plant will be discontinued in two to four years.

Once complete, the upgrades are expected to reduce the facility’s annual utility bill by about $22,000.

The Agrena upgrades are included in the town's 10-year capital plan as a potential 2023 project.

Associated Engineering estimated the total project cost at just over $2 million, including engineering services, preliminary work and an energy audit at $88,525, construction and installation of $1,663,600 and a 15 per cent contingency fund of $249,540.

The bulk of the funding would come from a combination of the 2021 and 2022 Federal Gas Tax Program grants of $1,251,665, the previously mentioned $750,000 Municipal Climate Change Action Centre grant.

Now that they have a contractor, they will order the necessary parts and equipment.

Touet said the plan is to stockpile the equipment, which should start arriving in January, until they can begin work in late April after the hockey season. The project should be complete by July 26, just in time for the hockey summer school season.

Barry Kerton,


Barry Kerton

About the Author: Barry Kerton

Barry Kerton is the managing editor of the Barrhead Leader, joining the paper in 2014. He covers news, municipal politics and sports.
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