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Zorra to build energy efficient Public Works Maintenance Facility

The Council of the Township of Zorra is pleased to announce it has finalized plans to build a new Public Works Maintenance Facility adjacent to the existing shop on Road 78 just east of County Road 119. The tender submitted by Elgin Contracting and Restoration Ltd. was accepted by Council at its December 16, 2020 meeting in the amount of $8,955,600.

This culminates a process that started in 2007 when a Committee was first struck to examine replacing or renovating the Public Works Shop in Embro. This original Committee decided the Embro Shop was not feasible to renovate and a second Committee was formed in 2012 to review options for replacing both existing shops. The Committee reviewed all options for the proposal and in the end recommended to Council that a new centralized facility be constructed in the geographic centre of the Township. The next phase concentrated on site selection and it was determined the existing property at the Kintore Shop should be expanded and the new facility be located there. The Township purchased 6.4 acres in 2014 for $168,220.

The firm of Chamberlain Architect Services limited was retained early in 2018 to design and tender a Maintenance Facility. Due to economic conditions, the project was not tendered until the fall of 2020. The 35,446 ft2 building and 17,460 ft2 sand/salt storage building underwent a thorough review by Council to ensure energy efficiency. The project was tendered with a conventional design and a net zero energy use option.

The Township received a total of 19 bids on the project with lowest bid of $8,005,980 for the conventional gas system and the lowest tender price for the net zero energy option submitted by Elgin. To reach net zero energy, the Township will require a solar energy component that will add an additional $750,000 to the project. This will see the Maintenance Facility roof fully covered in solar panels as well as a ground mount field.

The Township Council has made a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2040. The projected life span of the facility is over 50 years and will help the Township achieve its goal. The Township will also be price protected from energy and hydro price increases over the life of the building. A 50-year life cycle capital cost analysis indicates a slightly higher cost for net zero energy option. However, recently announced carbon tax increases will likely drive energy costs higher than the inflationary figure of 1.75% used in the 50-year analysis.

It is anticipated that construction will begin in late March with a target completion date of December 15, 2021.