Corcoran tabbed to complete downtown construction


Corcoran tabbed to complete downtown construction

A familiar face will likely be back in downtown Belleville when Phase 3 of downtown reconstruction breaks ground this summer.

Len Corcoran Excavating Ltd., the company that did the work on both previous phases, is the lone company submitting a tender for Phase 3.

Staff are recommending council accept the proposal, which will cost the city about $12 million. That recommendation will be presented to council at its meeting Monday.

Corcoran was highly praised by numerous downtown businesses for its efforts to help them through the disruptions caused by the construction, particularly during Phase 2 last summer.

The most recent budget for downtown has $13.1 million available for the work, which will start in July and continue into the following year.

The price tag for all three phases, if Phase 3 stays on budget, will come in at about $34 million.

In 2014, council rejected the only two bids received when the project was put out as one tender for all of the downtown work because they were too high at $25 million and $34 million.

In an effort to reduce the costs and attract more bidders, council broke the project into three phases.

The third phase will start with repairs along Bridge Street with ground being broken in July. Next spring the remaining work, south on Front and including Market Street and Macannany Street, will begin with an expected completion in Fall 2018.

Also at Monday’s meeting, council will be asked for a decision regarding its Vacancy Unit Rebate Program, which provides rebates on the property taxes on vacant commercial and industrial space.

A report to council notes the province has changed regulations regarding this program to give municipalities more flexibility to implement the program or not. The current program provides a rebate of 30 per cent for vacant commercial space and 35 per cent for vacant industrial space.

The report notes that applications for the rebate dropped in 2016 to 109 and the value of the rebates decreased to $315,000.

In 2015, there were 126 applications valued at $365,000 and in 2014 119 applications valued at $382,000.

A note in the report points out an average of only two applications for industrial properties are processed each year

The report makes no recommendation to council aside from the options of no change or starting the process to remove the rebate for the 2018 tax year.

Recent reports have said as much as 25 per cent of the commercial space in downtown is currently vacant and have suggested the tax rebates those businesses receive are an incentive to leave them empty rather than spend to improve the property.

Council will also be considering a request from Belleville Police Service to begin the process of preparing a Fortification By-law.

Also at Monday’s council meeting, council will hear deputations from University Hospitals, Kingston Foundation updating the city’s pledge to the Together We Can campaign, and a deputation from Loyalist College regardings its 50th anniversary.

City council meets at City Hall at 4 p.m. on Monday.

Read More: News, Quinte



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