Hazardous materials boost costs of Port Moody firehall demolition

Demolition in the works for the old Port Moody fire hall. - DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Demolition in the works for the old Port Moody fire hall.

No matter what the city of Port Moody does with its old fire hall, it's going to cost taxpayers.

Cost estimates for the demolition of the old PoMo fire hall, replaced by the new hall just down the road, are higher than originally forecast. But the city will move ahead with the building removal project because there is little interest in any other option.

From an initial early estimate of $350,000, PoMo councillors were told the cost to take down the building that occupies a strategic corner at Ioco Road and Murray Street is more likely to be about $475,000 because there is asbestos in some of the building materials.

"The biggest uncertainty is how much hazardous material such as asbestos is in this building," said Neal Carley, the city's manager of engineering and public works.

Coun. Diana Dilworth raised the issue of cost as council considered whether demolition is the best option for the building, which was constructed in the 1970s.

But before the cost estimates can be confirmed, Carley said a hazards materials assessment will need to be carried out.

According to the report, the older concrete building has exceeded its useful service life and would require maintenance and upgrades if the building were to be reused. The truck bay roof is leaking and asbestos tiles have cracked in places.

Options considered included locking up the building or reusing it for city storage or another purpose. But those would also carry costs: $25,000 in close-up costs plus $1,000 a month to keep it heated; or between $100,000 and $200,000 in repairs to repurpose it.

The land on which the fire hall sits could be used for a public amenity, such as a farmer's market, and staff was asked to determine if electrical utilities could be maintained for future use.

"We can look at it," replied Carley. "The service can still remain but not be active."

Project funding would come from the Land Sales Reserve Fund and the building would take about six months to remove, including demolition and site clearing.

Other Moody news:


Restoring a public art piece that has weathered and was partially damaged will cost $10,000 but Port Moody will fund the repair work by Ross Agro so it can once again be placed at the Bike Trials Park under the Moody overpass.

Funds to repair the "Trail by Stone" relief mural will come from the city's $57,500 Artwork Reserve, including a $600 contingency and $1,500 recovered from the contractor that damaged the piece while removing it to do seismic work on the overpass.


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