Trail takes project manager approach for Riverfront Centre

“This is to drive the attention of the rest of the professional team and guide the project through design, budget development and tender.”

Trail is on its way to another big project after city council agreed to a dedicated overseer for the design and construction of the Riverfront Centre.

The role of the project manager (PM) is to protect the interest of the city.

It’s all part of lessons learned from the pipe/pedestrian bridge that came in well above estimated budget and took a whirlwind of negotiations to get back on track.

“This is to drive the attention of the rest of the professional team and guide the project through design, budget development and tender,” Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff explained to Trail council Monday. “Stakeholders and the public are anxious to see the city move forward on this project.”

MMM Group is the preferred firm to fill the lead job, so Trail council agreed to waive the municipal policy that requires a competitive process for contracts over $10,000.

The organization has collaborated with the city for a number of years in downtown revitalization projects, and that led to the decision to override the policy.

Further, a well established working relationship with the Kelowna firm can expedite the project and keep it on budget before shovels hit dirt next year.

“The city will look to negotiating directly with MMM as opposed to an open Request for Proposal (for the PM position),” Perehudoff added.

“Given the credentials of the group, we are confident they will be efficient and effective as reps for the City of Trail.”

The $6.3 million new library/museum project is expected to break ground next spring, pending a service contract for the PM; the development of terms of reference for hiring an architect; and ongoing engagement with the building committee prior to construction.

Representatives from the city, the Trail Library Board and the Trail Historical Society comprise the committee dedicated to the facility’s design and build.

Last year, Trail secured a $500,000 contribution from Columbia Basin Trust for the new complex that will house the Trail museum and library. Additionally, the Trail Historical Society received a $20,000 grant from Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, which is the maximum amount allotted under the program for a museum and gallery space.

The funds help soften taxpayer impact, which is currently estimated to be about $38 annually for 25 years, based on the average assessed home.

In all, the city expects to see a $760,000 yearly cost increase related to the Riverfront Centre. That includes the estimated annual debt servicing costs as well as estimated operating cost increases for both the library and museum, Perehudoff confirmed.

“The figure ($760,000) is still relevant but the final budgetary impact will not be known until a more comprehensive review is done,” he explained.

Other factors include council’s willingness to increase service levels and operating budgets when the new facility is opened, added Perehudoff. “This should become more crystallized in 2016 when the detailed design is complete, the project is tendered and the operating plans are developed.”