Demolition of a town-owned building is going to cost an additional $28,000 due to the presence of asbestos.
Town council was apprised of the need to increase the house’s demolition budget to $40,000, up from $12,000, from the building development reserve during the regular meeting on Tuesday, June 14.
An inspection conducted by RH Services in May of the property on 5107 49 Avenue showed asbestos in the exterior stucco, interior plaster of the walls and the ceiling throughout house.
Dave McPhee, director of operations and property services, said he requested a second opinion of the demolition after some concern about the building materials. With the amount of asbestos in the building, he said it becomes a more intense process for the contractor, VISCO Contractors, the same company demolishing Town Hall this summer.
This cost is still within range of the original estimate conducted by Kelsey Hycha, the town’s facility foreman, who estimated a cost of $60,000 to $65,000. At the time, the town requested an inspection and assessment by Home Alyze of Red Deer.
The company’s estimate came in well under the predicted cost at $12,000 with assessment of the building conducted although it does not appear that asbestos was indicated as an issue.
The presence of asbestos highlights the challenges that residents and municipalities across the country face. Abatement of the material, which is linked to several cancers including lung and ovarian cancer, falls to the users and municipalities leaving them on the hook for the high abatement costs.
Coun. Sandra Lyon asked about individual homeowners and what their responsibility would be if they were faced with a similar situation. Those individuals must also comply with regulations, explained Tim Schmidt, director of planning and development, but the town has no way to police it.
He added that the town can request information on the materials to be disposed of.
Whether councillors agree or disagree is irrelevant to the situation. “We are bound by law as a municipality to follow legislation,” said McPhee.
There were other town-owned buildings neighbouring this building that have been demolished but it is believed no tests were done on those before demolition.
A breakdown of demolition costs show $16,500 for abatement of hazardous materials, $17,500 basic demolition and $5,500 for back fill and topsoil fill.
Councillors Carla Prediger and Teri Underhill voted against the request.