The old Union Hotel will be stripped of asbestos materials next month, and the vacant house behind will be knocked down. The work is part of a $300,000 contract Trail council awarded this week. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Asbestos removal from old Trail landmark set to begin

Trail council awarded the first stage of Union Hotel demo this week, a $300,000 remediation contract

The first stage of Union Hotel demo will soon be underway after Trail council awarded a $300,000 contract for removal of hazardous material.

There were no local bids for this specialized remediation, which is to strip the Victoria Street landmark of asbestos.

City officials reviewed all four submissions at the Monday governance meeting, but before signing the job over to Phoenix Enterprises Ltd. of Surrey, there were a few questions.

For starters, the winning contractor was considerably lower – by $50,000 to $224,000 – than the other three tenders.

Additionally, the company’s timeline of five weeks is twice, even three times shorter than the other bids (10 to 15 weeks).

Mayor Mike Martin says council addressed the wide variances between tenders before signing on the dotted line.

“We asked staff those very questions,” he said. “And we did have a consultant review the bids in detail, and provide us assurance that the low bid met all the conditions that were required to effectively remove all the hazardous materials from the building,” Martin clarified. “Plus the demolition of the small house behind.”

When the job is completed later this summer, the main drag through town will look much the same.

“It will not change from the outside,” Martin explained. “It will still remain a boarded facility, and the plan will be to execute the demolition next year.”

The city could not afford to level the lot this year.

“So this will be the first phase to work towards total demolition,” Martin said. “And putting the lot into a situation where it will be ready for sale.”

Looking ahead, Victoria Street will largely be vacant lots once the Union Hotel is gone.

Martin says, anecdotally, that there’s been some interest expressed by potential developers.

“Until we actually have the site ready, I think that’s when the serious propositions will be coming forward,” he said. “And we recognize, of course, there are two other lots sitting on Victoria Street that are empty.”

“But we also hear that there is some interest there,” Martin concluded.

“So we are hoping through all the other work we have been doing in the community, and the level of activity present, that is what will attract some right investment in those areas.”

Phoenix Enterprises is expected to be on site by the end of June.

An invitation to tender was placed on May 11 for Phase 1 of the project. As part of the invitation, a mandatory site visit was included to allow the prospective contractors an accurate look into the structures for bidding purposes. As a result, 17 representatives, both contractors and sub‐contractors, signed in for the site visit.

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