Demolition project went well, GMDC reports

  • Dec. 19, 2014 8:00 a.m.

The Greater Massett Development Corporation received a warm thank you from Old Massett at its annual general meeting Monday night.Director John T. Jones thanked the GMDC for awarding the contract to demolish the barracks, mess hall and recreation centre to Old Massett, creating about 20 jobs for residents over the past several months.The demolition job, which started earlier this year, is now almost complete, and GMDC chair Andrew Merilees said it went well.”The board would like to thank OMVC,” he said. “The project went even better than I was honestly expecting.”Old Massett hired Alfred Adams as prime contractor and the entire job was overseen by Bill Beamish for the GMDC. Mr. Merilees thanked both men for their work, saying that Mr. Adams and his crew handled the job in a professional and safe manner with open and positive communication.One serious work-related accident occurred during the project. A worker fell from a height, Mr. Merilees said, but fortunately did not suffer life-threatening injuries and is expected to make a full recovery.The demolition contract with Old Massett was for $706,000, he said, and the final cost will likely be a bit less than that.With the demolition job set to be complete within days (with the exception of seeding, which will take place in the spring), Mr. Merilees said the next task on the horizon will be for Masset and Old Massett to hold a joint council meeting and talk about what they want to do with the large site, located right in the middle of Masset. After that, there will likely be public discussions to find out what residents of the two villages would like to see happen.”The site is jointly owned and currently designated for recreation purposes,” Mr. Merilees said.During 2014 the GMDC board spoke with the Department of National Defence about increased demolition costs due to the fact that the old military buildings contained more asbestos than DND had disclosed. Mr. Merilees said two DND employees visited the site a few months ago and GMDC is waiting to hear back from them about its request for more money for the asbestos removal part of the job.GMDC made a strong case, said director John Disney, telling DND that “you handed this over and said there was nothing to worry about – when there was a heck of a lot to worry about.”In the coming year, Mr. Merilees said, GMDC plans to continue to work on devolving its assets and liabilities in preparation for dissolution. It will be looking to sell the former military headquarter buildings, and other chunks of land that it owns. An assessment of property, land and rental values was conducted in 2014 to give a reflection of current market values, he said, and survey work is ongoing.”Our plan is to devolve,” he said. “It’s better for us to dissolve the society… That is the end goal, but I can’t see it happening any time soon. We’re going to have an AGM next year.”The four directors present at Monday’s annual general meeting – Mr. Merilees, Mr. Disney, Mr. Jones and Trevor Jarvis – accepted the financial statements for the year ended Dec. 31, 2013 and re-appointed Carlyle Shepherd and Co. as auditor. They tabled the appointment of directors, as Masset and Old Massett must confirm their appointments to the board.According to the financial statements, at year end 2013 GMDC owned assets worth approximately $5 million, including property and equipment, cash and market investments. That total also includes the $3 million “greenfield” fund, which can only be spent on demolition and remediation. Mr. Merilees said this work is now well underway, but the final costs won’t be known for a while. However, he said, it will be well within the $3 million.During 2013, GMDC’s investment income jumped to $389,000 compared to $233,000 the year before. Mr. Merilees said the 67 percent increase was due to improved market conditions. GMDC also received slightly more rent income, bringing its overall revenue for 2013 to $486,000, up from $324,000. However, expenditures also increased, rising to $704,000 in 2013 compared to $335,000 in 2012. Most of the increase was due to contract and professional services associated with the environmental assessment and asbestos abatement program, Mr. Merilees said.Overall, GMDC remains on target with no financial problems, he said.The GMDC was formed in the mid-1990s following the federal government’s decision to drastically downsize the military station in Masset. Ottawa handed over ownership of the former military properties in the village to GMDC, a society jointly owned by Masset and Old Massett.

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