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Gazette file photo

Gazette file photo

The old Fairgrounds buildings in Stratford

March demolition for old Fairgrounds site

Jeff Heuchert, Gazette staff

The demolition and removal of buildings and foundations on the old Fairgrounds land are expected to begin the first week in March, according to  economic development officer Randy Mattice.

City council awarded a tender for the work to the lowest bidder, Kieswetter Demolition (1992) Inc. of Waterloo, and signed off on a contract at its most recent meeting.

Over 30 contractors attended a site meeting in December to learn more about the demolition, and in the end 16 bids were submitted – an unusually high number, says Mattice, who suspects the project received so much attention because the tender went out late in the year as contractors were beginning to fill their schedules.

Bids varied from a high of $572,345 to a low of $214,537. The 2013 budgeted amount approved by council was for $189,856.

“I think that’s a great price for all the work they’ve got to do up there,” commented Coun. Keith Culliton prior to council signing off on the work.

Depending on the weather, Mattice says the demolition could begin sooner. He anticipates the work will take anywhere from six to eight weeks, noting the contractor will be slowed down due to the amount of materials that are expected to be recycled.

“That obviously adds to the demolition time,” he adds, “because they will be taking (the buildings) down piece by piece.”

In addition to ensuring as much of the materials are diverted away from the landfill, Mattice notes the city has requested the excavated site be back-filled once the buildings have been removed.

The city declared an 18-acre portion of 24 Glastonbury Dr. containing the old Rotary Arena, bingo hall and Agricultural Society building surplus in 2011 while retaining 10 acres for a multi-use recreational area.

Mattice says the request for proposal for the sale of the land, which is slated for future residential development, is presently in the hands of the city’s lawyer to finalize wording, and he anticipates it will be released shortly.

As previously reported, Mattice had requested the city move forward with the demolition prior to soliciting interest in the property.

“We’re hoping by removing any encumbrances and buildings we’re presenting a more clean site to potential purchasers,” he adds.

The city intends to recoup the cost of the demolition through the sale.

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