Concept plans for future Arthur operations centre presented to Wellington North council

WELLINGTON NORTH – Councillors got a look at two conceptual designs for a potential new operations centre in Arthur on Sept. 12.

Each design included: office space, locker and break rooms, six truck bays, a wash bay, a storage mezzanine and storage room.

In a report by transportation services manager Dale Clark, presented to council by operations director Matthew Aston, staff note the township needs new infrastructure for road maintenance operations and material storage.

Staff have worked with Grinham Architects to develop preliminary site plans with the goal of helping council to understand future land needs to accommodate such a build.

Council was requested to approve “in-principle” the concept designs presented, and once a budget is approved, to seek out five acres of land for the facility.

To date, $25,000 has been approved in the 2022 capital budget, and no high-level costing has yet been determined.

A council endorsement of the operations building would be “parked until some of the other land needs in the township are endorsed,” Aston told councillors.

“This is a conceptual design of what we want the operations centre to look like, but until we have some of those other pieces fall into place related to land needs, there really wouldn’t be further action on this project,” Aston said. 

Councillors largely expressed satisfaction with the plans.

Councillor Sherry Burke felt there was “a lot” of office space planned for, and asked if the current Arthur operations building couldn’t be used.

Aston said staff and the architect looked at the current property and said size limitations wouldn’t make it feasible.

Initial intent is to relocate Arthur’s drinking water staff to the new building, and give them a truck bay for a vehicle. 

In the long term, office space could be used for a transportation services manager, a roads supervisor and a roads team or lead-hand.

Though plans illustrate eight office spaces, Aston said they’re subject to change and could accommodate two persons each for a total of 16 staff.

“This location would serve as … summer and winter storage of equipment that’s sort of off-season equipment,” he said, adding it would provide enough space to store everything presently in Arthur, and likely some equipment in Luther, moving equipment from being stored outdoors to indoors. 

Chief building official Darren Jones said the report is likely the “first in a series of reports on things like this.” 

Jones said staff have been reviewing facilities and staff space and he’s hopeful there will be more conversation in the next six months about land needs.

“Council input is needed to kind of bring the greater picture together,” Jones added. 

“Hopefully as we go along the picture gets more clear.”

Council passed the staff recommendations as presented.