Trent Lakes Council Meeting – March 6, 2018

Proposed New Depot

Council approved the scope of what will be included in the Cambium Inc. study of the proposed public works depot. Council asked staff at a meeting on December 12, 2017 to look into the best location for a proposed new centralized public works depot.

At a second meeting on February 6, 2018, council was asked to further define the scope of the project for Cambium Inc., who is doing the analysis.

Cambium provided a list of what will be covered in the study. Council approved the list with some additions that prompted some awkward exchanges between councillors and CAO Lois O’Neill-Jackson.

The additions include:

  • A fourth option that explores if the Galway depot can be used (repaired or re-built) in combination with a new smaller central depot.

  • A fifth option, leaving everything as it is (status quo) with the Galway depot being repaired.

The addition to the Scope of work was:

  • Must take into account the additional costs (fuel, tire, maintenance and lifespan impact) which will be incurred for the extra travel to the starting point of each snow plow route and return from the endpoint of each snow plow route.

The CAO reacted very strongly and emotionally to the suggestion that the Galway depot continue to be used, and said it will be closed at the end of this month. She said she refuses to be responsible for having staff work in that facility.

“I have the full authority to shut it down and I wouldn’t let a dog work in that building,” she said. “”If council wants staff back in there, fine, they can do it but I refuse to allow it to be reopened.”

Councillor Dick Persson said he was not suggesting it be reopened without replacing or repairs, but just that he thinks it should be part of the study as all options should be on the table.

The other three councillors voted to include the three new additions to the study with Mayor Bev Mathews voting against it.

Mayor Mathews mentioned that so far more than $60,000 extra has been spent since council began questioning the location for building a new centralized depot. Possible locations include the 49 Yard, Hwys 507 and 36 or a new single depot across the road from the municipal office.

The addition of the a new depot across the road from the municipal office was added because if land has to be purchased, the municipal office is the most central location. She told council they could strike off this option if they wanted.


With the three additions made by the councillors, the Scope of Work will include:

  • Complete full review of 2016 and 2017 annual operating costs -to establish baseline
  • Develop a list of assumptions required to complete the analysis
  • Confirm level of service expectations
  • Estimate the breakdown of Public Works budget between snow plowing versus all other activities
  • Estimate the current cost per kilometre for snow plowing
  • Determine breakdown of annual Public Works operating costs by fixed costs (not location dependent) versus variable cost (location dependent)
  • Besides snow plowing, determine what other Public Works activities would be significantly impacted by various location options
  • Calculate the estimated cost per km for other Public Works activities
  • Confirm the proposed use of the Buckhorn facility-calculate annual operating costs
  • Estimate the fixed operating costs for a new public works depot
  • Estimate the variable operating costs for the 3 facility options
  • Estimate the total annual operating costs for each 3 facility options
  • Determine value of redundancy by having Buckhorn facility