GUELPH – The County of Wellington and the Township of Wellington North are considering options for a shared public works garage in Arthur.
In a Jan. 24 report to the county roads committee, operations manager Paul Johnson explained the county roads division has been looking for a property for a new Arthur works garage to be constructed in 2021.
With Wellington North also looking at building a new garage to house its Arthur fleet, county staff met with Wellington North Mayor Andy Lennox and staff to discuss the idea of the township acquiring the county’s redundant Arthur garage.
“They are more interested in building a garage attached to our proposed new one,” Johnson explained in his report, noting a number of possible sites in the Arthur area have been discussed.
“The issue now is do we build a joint facility to handle our Area 3 fleet, staff, mechanical services plus a certain number of bays which will be used by Wellington North?”
The report continues, “Should the county decide to proceed with a shared garage facility with Wellington North a future decision needs to be made on whether the county builds the entire facility at our expense and leases an area within the building plus part of the lands to Wellington North, or does Wellington North simply pay their proportional cost for the buildings and land according to their needs?”
“That may have budget implications as to what the scale of project is,” Lennox, who chairs the roads committee, told county council at the Jan. 30 meeting.
“The amount of the budget may go up, but there will be a revenue stream to offset that from Wellington North.”
In the report, Johnson points out that as well as sharing a garage facility with Wellington North, a provision could also be made for ambulance services.
“At this stage staff is seeking confirmation from the county roads committee to move forward with a shared garage facility with Wellington North so that we may proceed with the purchase of the lands and design an appropriate facility for construction in 2021,” the report indicates.
“I think there’s a strong commitment from the committee that a joint project is a good project to pursue,” said Lennox.
In response to a question from councillor David Anderson, Lennox indicated there have been no discussions with ambulance service providers regarding sharing the Arthur location.
County council approved a roads committee recommendation to continue discussions with Wellington North pertaining to a shared garage facility, and to proceed with land acquisition for a potential shared garage facility.
“Stay tuned. There’s more discussion to be had with this kind of new territory that we’re taking on here to try and establish a partnership that will last for many years,” said Lennox.
“There’s lots of work to be done … to make sure we get it right so that it works for the long run.”