Whitehorse city council has approved a sole-source contract worth more than half a million dollars.
The $500,045 deal will go to Cimco Refrigeration for a major upgrade to the refrigeration system at the Canada Games Centre. Funding will come from the city’s portion of federal gas tax funding.
Cimco designed, manufactured and installed the current system when the recreation complex was built in 2005 and has been responsible for its servicing since it was installed.
City staff looked into it and say it’s not likely there’s a Yukon contractor that could do the specialized work needed, though Cimco has committed to looking locally for subcontractors that would work on portions of the project, such as the electrical work.
Operations manager Richard Graham explained at the Oct. 22 council meeting, ahead of the Oct. 28 vote, that the work is planned for 2020 over a four-week period in May so it won’t have a major impact on ice schedules at the CGC.
To ensure everything is ready, officials had to get approval from council to go ahead with the contract and have funding for it in place this year.
The effort will see the water-cooling tower, now at the end of its useful life, replaced with a glycol adiabatic fluid cooler. Graham described the new cooler as the most efficient type available in terms of energy savings and being designed for more extreme winter weather.
Safety upgrades to the system aimed at reducing the risk of ammonia leaks and upgrades to the chiller and condenser will also be done.
“Upgrade work to the chiller and condensers include a complete tear down, inspection, and upgrading of gaskets,” Graham wrote in his report to council. “The type of chiller and condensers that the city owns and operates must be upgraded at the 15-year mark to ensure continued operation.”
Cimco, Graham said, has been working on the city’s refrigeration systems since the 1980s.
“Cimco has extensive expertise, training, equipment and resources to complete this work successfully,” he said. “As this work must be completed in a four-week shutdown period, a significant mobilization of resources will be required to complete this work on time and not significantly affect facility schedules.”
Coun. Jan Stick voiced her agreement ahead of voting.
She pointed out safety is extremely important for this work and in this case she wants to see that done by those who have been working on the system for years.
“There’s good reason behind the exception,” she said of sole sourcing the contract, before raising her hand to vote with the rest of council in favour of the contract.
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