By Ron Giofu
The AMA Arena will be coming down soon, with demolition likely to begin early next month.
The arena, located at 209 Victoria St. S., will be torn down by the Jones Group with town council agreeing to authorize the Jones Group Ltd. to complete the work in a 5-2 vote at the Feb. 13 meeting. Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale and councillors Jason Lavigne, Rick Fryer and Leo Meloche.
Total cost of the project was listed as $144,077 with the approved capital budget being $150,000.
Councillor Diane Pouget opposed the motion with Pouget having made an earlier motion that was defeated. Pouget was seeking further information including experience, pricing, methodology and any and all violations against the companies involved in the bidding
Pouget referred to the report from administration that was on that night’s agenda as “inadequate” and sought more information.
“We have nothing here but Jones Group coming in first,” said Pouget. “This is a very heavily populated area. We have to make sure the best group gets the job.”
Pouget added there were several concerns when the former École St.-Jean Baptiste building was torn down on Brock St.
Councillor Joan Courtney also opposed the motion and said there have been issues with the successful proponent in the past. She was concerned about crushing and removal of debris on site but CAO John Miceli said there will be no crushing on site and that it will be trucked away to an approved site.
Miceli noted the report ranks the bidders and noted it was an RFP and not a tender process. He said a committee evaluated experience, the proposed scope and methodology, price and timing.
The committee was made up of the manager of facilities, deputy fire chief, chief building official and the financial planning administrator.
Miceli said there was a $47,000 difference between the first and second place finishers and a $49,000 difference between the first and third place finisher. He said municipal bylaws will be followed during the demolition process.
Mayor Aldo DiCarlo added he has not seen the level of detail Pouget was asking for in other similar projects.
“As long as I’ve been here, council has never received this level of detail,” said DiCarlo.
Director of planning, development and legislative services Mark Galvin said the process used “has integrity” and the report “speaks for itself as to what was factored into the decision.”
Miceli added the current schedule calls for the demolition to begin in the first week of March and is expected to last seven to eight weeks.
“They could take less but that’s what we requested in the RFP,” said Miceli, who added the residents will be notified.
The AMA Arena was originally built in 1970. It was in operation until 2011 when the Libro Centre opened and was used in recent years for storage.