A $100,000 contract for a new elevator in Waneta Manor has been awarded, and logistics are being worked out, says Scott Ullrich, president of Gateway Property Management.
Ullrich spoke to the Trail Times this week regarding the four-storey elevator, which has been out of commission since February, leaving senior tenants either homebound or struggling to get in and out of their apartments.
He began by saying the elevator is original to the building and certain parts needed are no longer manufactured.
“They did make two, possibly three attempts to repair it, just to get it up and running,” Ullrich explained. “After the first time it worked not even for 24 hours, so they came back to say ‘I don’t think we can do it.’”
When a temporary fix wasn’t in the cards, Ullrich says the company hired the services of an elevator consultant.
The consultant went to the Manor back in March and confirmed to Gateway Management that components needed are no longer available and that the entire lift would have to be replaced.
Specifications for a new elevator were drawn up and went to tender. Ullrich says the contract was awarded in April based on expediency, not price.
“We awarded it on who could get it up and running the quickest,” he said. “So they’ve reached out to the manufacturer for the major part, the motor, which is out of Quebec.”
Therein lies another barrier.
Ullrich says the ongoing pandemic has shutdown production for this particular manufacturer.
“So they are trying to ramp up and get all the parts together,” he continued. “We have biweekly meetings with the consultant to get updates on what’s happening, such as when the parts are going to arrive. We’ve got the labour component all set to go once the parts do arrive.”
At this point, Ullrich says it could be toward the end of July before everything is on site to install the new elevator.
“It’s regrettable it’s taking that long,” he said. “We, like everybody else, are trying to do this right away, and in COVID, it’s been difficult.”
The Times asked Ullrich if there is validity to the voiced suspicion from several tenants that the company wants them out so new tenants can get in there and pay higher rent.
“I can absolutely positively confirm that this is not the case” he replied. “We’d be very happy for our residents there to continue with us. We are not by any stretch trying to get anybody to move.”
He concedes that a certain letter management sent to tenants several months ago may have been misconstrued.
“Because we knew there would be a delay in getting the (new) elevator, so we indicated if somebody had to move, we would not enforce them to give 30 days notice.”
Ullrich added, “That’s all we did. We are not trying to push people out.”