Melfort and SHA enter heliport agreement

MELFORT — As the tender for the new heliport at the Melfort hospital draws to a close, city councillors and the Saskatchewan Health Authority have agreed on the terms and conditions for the heliport’s construction.

Mayor Rick Lang, city councillors, and city staff discussed terms of their agreement with the Saskatchewan Health Authority during their special council meeting on June 30. The tender closed on July 7 for the half a million dollar project at the Melfort Union Hospital but SHA requested that council finalize the agreement before the tender was closed.

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The partnership sees the city building the heliport on Health Authority property with provisions in place to ensure its completion of the project through a letter of credit, said Brent Lutz, Melfort’s development, planning and community relations director.

“The agreement itself is a standard agreement with SHA and wasn't subject to a lot of opportunity for negotiations,” Lutz said. “We did go through and raise concerns and made some minor changes where it was able.”

The letter of credit will see the full amount of the project will be held in a kind of trust, said Sandy Peterson, city treasurer, with the total amount of the project going to the SHA if for any reason the project is not completed.

“We'd have to just ensure that we get this work done,” she said

Lang said they were not expecting something as detailed or demanding as the agreement that SHA brought forward regarding the letter of credit however city councillors are making strong decisions that would more than likely see the project completed.

The tender will close July 7 and Lang said they are firm on the amount they will be spending on the project.

“The council has already agreed as a majority that we will only proceed if the fundraising covers the tender costs. Once we know what the tender cost is, and we don't know that yet, because the tender hasn't closed, we'll see if that fits within budget. And if it does, it won't create any problems.”

If no tenders come in at or below that amount, Lang said the city will have to look at where they go next with the project. Once the tender is awarded, competition of the heliport is anticipated for the end of September


Water fill station

Also included in the special council meeting was discussion regarding the new water fill station at the corner of Hamilton and Broadway and a transfer of title from SaskWater to the City of Melfort.

Council pre-approved the new station as part of the 2021 city capital budget.

Revenue from the station from June 11 to June 23 of this year totalled $2,633 due to the spraying season and should taper off in the fall, reported Gerald Gilmore, Melfort’s public works director, in his written report that was brought up during the meeting. Operating costs are anticipated at a minimum 25 per cent of the sales.

The total cost of the project, including money already associated with construction of the fill station, is $29,739, Gilmore said.

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