For the first time since it was shut down for good this past spring, City of Edmonton staff have put a price tag on what it’ll cost to tear down the dilapidated building that has housed the composter for the last two decades.
The Aeration Hall Building was closed Oct. 26 last year, and in the spring it was determined it couldn’t be saved.
“In spring 2019, based on the latest scan, administration, in collaboration with external structural engineers, concluded it is no longer safe to continue to operate,” said a report going to the Sept. 27 Edmonton City Council Utilities Committee.
“We’re presenting a request to the committee to commit to the deconstruction of the composter,” Pascale Ladouceur, the acting branch manager for infrastructure planning and design, told Global News in an interview.
“The cost at this time is still an estimate of $12 million. We’ll be continuing to work with our contractor and consultant through the deconstruction plan.
“As you can imagine, there are some unknowns in this work so we’re trying to plan as best as possible, but we still have some work to do,” she said.
“There’s still material in there. We still have to cut the utilities,” Ladouceur said of the game plan.
“So we’re working through that, through early in the fall and then we’ll get the deconstruction going potentially in November – December. That will take several months because we’ll take a very slow but sure approach to the deconstruction in stages, ensuring that we keep the remaining buildings around it operational, safe and accessible.”
It’s also unknown how structurally sound the facility is, and what is needed to shore up the building during deconstruction.
“There’s less risk around hazardous material. We’ve confirmed there’s no asbestos in this building,” Ladouceur said. “For the rest, with the structural issues we do have to take a deconstruction plan that is taking risk into account. It has to be controlled and safe for the operator and for the construction workers that will be on site.”
Working through the winter will also pose some challenges.
“If there was some snow load, that would be in addition to the weight of the facility itself. We’re working with the contractor to look at what is possible to be done this winter.”
The plan calls for the deconstruction to be completed by the summer of 2020, the report said.
The committee will be asked to approve a one-time increase of $12 million in the Waste Services expenditure budget. It’ll be paid for “through the establishment of a regulatory deferral account in the 2020 Utility Rate filing,” the report said.
The plan is to eventually have ratepayers come up with the $12 million through a new deferral account that will come into place when the 2020 Utility Rate filing is done, so current rates don’t immediately “spike.”