Centennial board looking to replace Manor heating system

Costs would be borne by Manitoulin municipalities

KAGAWONG—A member of the Manitoulin Centennial Manor Board has alerted Billings township council that the Manor is currently looking to replace its heating and air conditioning system, and that it could come at a large cost to municipalities.

Connie Suite, Billings township representative on the Manor board, told council at a meeting last week that the current system “is too old to repair and the board is looking at replacing it. We don’t know how much it will cost at this point. On November 16 it is hoped that we will have three estimates to look at on a new system.”

“The whole system needs to be done,” stated Ms. Suite, who pointed out that local municipalities will be expected to pick up these costs. “I found one estimate that was for $70,000, but the costs could be over $100,000, and I don’t know if there are any grants out there that we could access to help out.”

“I don’t know if grants are out there to help,” said Councillor Sharon Alkenbrack.

Councillor Brian Parker suggested the Manor may want to inquire if there is funding available from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation or FedNor.

“Yes, the (heating-air conditioning) controls need to be replaced,” Paul Moffatt, chair of the Manor Board confirmed this past Sunday. “We have one quote, and are waiting on others.”

Mr. Moffatt pointed out, “everything is 50-years-old, and the heating components are serviceable, but the controllers are getting hard to get and that is why we are looking at replacing them.” He pointed out the initial quote the Manor Board has received is $80,000 and that the air conditioning system is separate from the heating system.

At a Manor board meeting in September, two items that were brought to the board’s attention that require immediate action: the building automation system (heating and ventilation system) and the air conditioning units. A site visit by Honeywell to perform preventative maintenance on the building automation system revealed that some of the controllers were malfunctioning and were not responding to the outdated DOS based graphical front-end computer system. Due to the age of the system new controllers have not been available for the past 10 years, but the Honeywell tech had two used ones that he has installed to keep the system going.

The system is in need of upgrading/replacement and if not replaced could lead to the complete loss of heating, cooling, and ventilation to residents, staff, and service areas of the building for long periods of time.

A separate report on the air conditioning units sets out that all are a minimum of 22-years –old, which is about seven years beyond their working life expectancy.

As has already been reported previously the Manor does not have any reserves for such capital outlays as municipalities were reluctant as a whole to provide funds for such in the past in the interest of keeping budgets down.

Manor staff are currently in the process of seeking out potential suppliers and obtaining quotations for the required equipment.

“I just wish somewhere over the years the board had put together a reserve,” said Mr. Moffatt. “Former boards I guess never thought the equipment would wear out. But now this will become an added on cost for all participants (municipalities).”

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