A landmark-turned-eyesore in Inuvik’s downtown corridor is set to come down by the end of the year, prompting town council to request guidelines on how to handle special circumstances as council approved a landfill discount in two separate motions.
Councillors voted 6-0, with Coun. Alana Mero and deputy mayor Paul MacDonald absent, to give a 25 per cent discount on tipping fees for the first phase of demolition for the Eskimo Inn and a 15 per cent discount for the second phase. The rationale between the difference was that in the first phase the demolition team would handle the burial (“capping”) of the material and in the second case the landfill operator would do the work. The town will split the discount with the landfill on the first phase and eat the cost itself for the second one. It’s estimated the demolition will take between 100 to 125 loads per phase.
The plan, council heard, is to take down the back end of the building right away and demolish the front before the end of 2020.
Coun. Steve Baryluk calculated the cost of the discount to the town as roughly $4,000 for the first phase and $10,000 for the second with the town taking the full cost of the discount on the second.
While expressing their pleasure over the long derelict building coming down, councillors stressed the importance of establishing guidelines for future requests for discounts on large projects.
“I’ve been involved in a fair number of (tipping fee reductions) over the years, and it almost seems like council has a dart board on how much discount we’re going to give, and what day of the week it is,” said Coun. Clarence Wood. “It just depends on who is on council at the time what kind of discount a contractor gets.”
Wood also said the town should require anyone requesting a discount to make use of the landfill contractor for the capping, as he bid on the landfill “in good faith” and should not be subject to extra costs.
Mayor Natasha Kulikowski noted the town had discussed establishing guidelines following the town’s meetings in January where EGT Northwind was given a 50 per cent discount to bring steel from the Tuk Island remediation project to the Inuvik landfill.
Coun. Ray Solotki noted the town had set precedent with that deal and agreed the town should require the landfill contractor be involved.
“The fact we gave a 50 per cent discount to someone out of town means that someone in town is going to say ‘why was I not given the same discount?’,” she said. “We need to look at something that is fair.”
Wood noted the ambiguity was good incentive to establish set guidelines to follow.
“If we do, then past precedent really means nothing, because now we have guidelines to work from,” he said. “If we don’t have them, then past precedent means something.
“It gives us something concrete to work on.”
Senior administrative officer Grant Hood said the town was considering putting together guidelines.