Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Badger excavating leasing at Sarnia Chris Hadfield Airport, Ontario Canada

By CATHY DOBSON, The Observer

City council has voted 6-2 in favour of allowing a hangar at Sarnia Chris Hadfield Airport to be subleased to a company that will use it for non-aviation purposes.

Badger Daylighting Limited will pay the airport's operator, Scottsdale Aviation Limited, to use the hangar for the next 40 years.

The new agreement will generate revenue for Scottdales, which has been contracted since 1997 to operate the airport for the city.

But some councillors took issue with the lease. Coun. Terry Burrell said the city should get a cut since it owns the hangar. Others said the airport buildings should not be used for anything that isn't oriented to flying.

But city manager Lloyd Fennell defended the deal, saying that prior to 1997, the airport was owned and operated by the federal government and ran a deficit as high as $600,000 a year.

Since the city took over and contracted operations to Scottsdale, taxpayers have not been burdened by a deficit.

Approval of a long-term lease that benefits Scottsdale is a means to keep the operator interested in the airport, Fennell said. He warned that Scottsdale may want out of its contract if the city turned the lease down.

"Folks, we ought to approve this recommendation," said Coun. Dave Boushy. "We hired a high end lawyer to look at it and we should be grateful the airport operates without a loss to the city while other communities struggle with their airports."

Mayor Mike Bradley said a mixed use of the airport buildings is OK if it allows for economic development.

"We need to generate as much income as possible to help the operator make the airport work," he said.

Coun. Burrell and Coun. Andy Bruziewicz voted against the longterm lease to Badger.

Coun. Bev MacDougall was absent for Monday's council meeting.

Inside city workers get contract

Members of CUPE Local 3690 at city hall have a new three-year contract agreement that provides increases close to 2% per year.

The contract impacts 121 employees for the period Jan. 2011 to Dec. 2013 and is costing the city $199,248 for 2011, $184,293 for 2012 and $181,654 for 2013.

The same provisions will be provided to city hall's 37 non-union employees.

Mayor Mike Bradley called the new deal a '"co-operative approach to labour relations" and praised it for coming in below the 2.5% rate of inflation.

There were also minor adjustments to benefits while cost savings measures of increased deductibles were implemented.

No more stopping outside P.E. McGibbon

Parents picking up their children at P.E. McGibbon Public School are no longer allowed to stop on the north side of Talfourd Street between Russell and the school's property line.

City council agreed with area residents Monday that parents picking up and dropping off their children frequently park in that area, creating congestion around the school.

Council directed city staff to erect "No Stopping" signs in the restricted area on the north side of Talfourd.

"Are we going to hand traffic tickets to people while they sit in their cars," asked Coun. Mike Kelch.

"Technically, they shouldn't be there," answered Chief city engineer Andre Morin.

"That's going to go over well," commented Kelch.

New snow melt system at RBC

City council authorized the purchase of a new snow melt pit system and ice controller for the RBC Centre Monday.

A total of $97,168 will be spent to replace the equipment at the 15-year-old sports complex. An existing snow melt pit system is in such poor condition that it hasn't been used in the past few years and extra costs are incurred to dump arena ice shavings outside.

Arena snow that is dumped outside eventually creates access issues for the fire department and must be removed, says a report to council.

A snow pit melts all arena snow and discharges it to the sanitary storm system so that dumping isn't necessary.

The ice controller is Swedish technology that changes the trigger for the ice plant to operate.

The equipment purchases will produce energy savings, according to staff.

Oil recovery in Canatara Park

A new oil recovery system will be designed and built to stop an "oily plume" from migrating into Lake Chipican.

The oily substance was dumped near Michigan Avenue and Front Streets in the 1930s and 1940s when the municipality and local industry used the area as a dumpsite.

In 2002, a number of monitoring wells and steel sheetpile walls were installed near the southwest shore of Lake Chipican to prevent the oily mess from flowing underground.

But in October 2011, oil was discovered in a new location along the shoreline and the Ministry of Environment ordered the city to build another oil recovery system similar to that built in 2002.

Golder Associates Limited, which built the first one, will be hired at a cost of $69,514 for the new system.

The ministry has set a May 31 deadline to get the work done.

City staff say the building to house the process equipment will be located near the Kiwanis pavilion.

Source:   http://www.theobserver.ca

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