During Monday evening’s Committee of the Whole meeting in Smiths Falls, CAO Malcolm Morris shared good news with council regarding the long-deferred bandstand planned for the new town square.
The town square development has been placed on hold for the winter months, Morris noted, but it is getting close to completion: the rear parking lot has been completed, the base for the bandstand has been poured, and the sidewalk paths are roughed in, ready for interlocking stone. The next step is the bandstand, and finally landscaping.
The town has put out the proposed bandstand several times for tender: the bid most recently came in at $324,000. The previous council turned the bids down, as they were not a good value for taxpayer dollars, and directed staff into outlining options for moving forward.
“Instead of following the tendering process, we reached out to leaders in the building industry… We would like to award it on a sole-source basis to Chris Saumure [of Saumure Group of Companies] and Scott Fleming [of Rideau Home Hardware Building Centre] for stepping up and being willing to build this on an at-cost basis.”
“This is a great deal for the taxpayer, and brings together some of our community business partners to help build this legacy project,” Morris said.
Councilor Jay Brennan was thrilled with Saumure and Fleming’s willingness to make this happen. “This is great; awesome news. Thank you, Chris and Scott, for stepping up to the plate.”
Mayor Pankow added his thanks to the local business owners who were willing to invest into a significant project, and also thanked the town staff for seeking out a unique solution. “I want to commend CAO Morris for putting some creativity into it – I know it’s been a lot of discussion and a great result that will lead to a great legacy for the Foulkes family.”
Smiths Falls’ own late Tom Foulkes left $100,000 to the town for the construction of a bandstand in the town.
CAO Morris said that the bandstand will be built and in place by summer 2023. There will be an electrical supply, and it will be lit; there will be pedestrian-level lighting on the pathways as well.
Councilor Peter McKenna, who chaired the meeting, commented, “this is another example of what a wonderfully generous community this is; I am proud to be part of this town.”