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May. 28, 2022 | Saturday
Local News
Old Town gateway design moving to tender
An illustration of the proposed wall by Seferian Design Group. (Sourced)

Project expected to be completed in the spring of 2023

The new gateway entrance to Old Town has been shrunk to meet its budget and approved for tendering by Niagara-on-the-Lake councillors.

The wall has had about four metres shaved off its size from various directions, including reducing the highest point by almost half a metre, according to a presentation by Seferian Design Group.

"I think it’s made a big difference in terms of our budget as well as our design,” Brad Smith of Seferian told councillors.

The most costly aspect of the wall is the dry stone being used to construct it.

With materials and construction all in, the wall itself is expected to cost $130,000.

Plantings for the project will cost around $20,000, the NOTL crest and signage will be $20,000, and electrical features and service are estimated at $10,000, among other costs.

The project's total price tag is now $249,102.50, just under the $250,000 donated by Gerald Kowalchuk for the gateway.

A previously planned revamping of the pedestrian corners on the south side of the intersection into plazas has been made provisional, meaning it will only be done if money is available.

Parks and recreation manager Kevin Turcotte told council needs to have a cohesive design finished and apply for grants, hoping to be able to include the plazas if grants come through.

The layout of plantings in the garden has not been finalized yet, Smith said, but the types of foliage have generally been decided on.

“It’s a combination of perennials, deciduous, evergreen and broadleaf evergreen so that, every three months, every season, there is a change visually that will take place in the garden,” he said.

Seferian and the town plan on sourcing the stone work for the wall from one contractor, sparking concerns from Coun. Norm Arsenault.

“Is there not a maximum that we can single-source a contract?” Arsenault asked town staff.

Chief administrator Marnie Cluckie said the town discourages single-sourcing a contract except in unique cases. Due to the specialty nature of the dry stone wall town, staff supports using a sole contractor, she said.

The town plans to use Dean McLellan for the work. McLellan is the “first and only certified master craftsman and examiner in Canada recognized by the British Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain,” according to the presentation.

Turcotte also told councillors the wall could be completed as designed with or without the controversial traffic bump out that's been installed at the intersection.

He said the only impact removing the bump out would have on the project is reducing the amount of space available for the garden.

The town expects the project to go to tender in March, with construction to be complete by next spring.