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NNSL Photo/graphic

These steel beams erected at Rotary Park two weeks ago will eventually become picnic shelters. John Carter, Rotary Club president, said the beams should be galvanized steel. These aren't. - Mike W. Bryant/NNSL photo

Rotary ticked at city over park

Mike W. Bryant
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Nov 23/05) - Yellowknife Rotary Club members are fuming over how City Hall built picnic shelters at a public park bearing their name.

John Carter, the club's president, said contractors who lost out on the bid are angry because the winner, Camco Construction, proposed using cheaper steel girders to build the structures, even though the tender called for rust-resistant galvanized steel.

Carter said the Rotary Club is being blamed for the bid decision because the city's Sept. 23 request for proposals names the club as a partner, even though Rotary had no say in awarding the tender.

"I've already had an earful from my membership on it," said Carter.

"The Rotary's name is being trashed because there are some people very unhappy and dissatisfied with the way the tender was done."

Carter said he hasn't seen the structures yet but he worries that it will be difficult to maintain.

"My concern is if it isn't galvanized steel as was specified originally, that means this poor, bloody Rotary is going to be cleaning it every year," said Carter.

Rotary Park, on School Draw Ave., has been a work in progress for the last two years. City Hall footed the bill, but Rotary Club members volunteered their time to plant trees, lay sod, and build a walking trail to Willow Flats on Yellowknife Bay.

The two steel structures were erected at the park two weeks ago. According to the city's proposal request, the Rotary Club is expected to provide the lion's share of work now that they are in place. That includes building a wooden roof, deck, and patio.

The document proposes that - depending on price and available funding - only one shelter be built for the time being, although frames for two shelters were constructed. A bandstand is supposed to go in the middle.

Mayor Gord Van Tighem said the city paid Camco $38,000 to build the structures.

He said he doesn't understand why contractors or the Rotary Club is angry.

"Every tender has a winner and a loser, and usually the losers are grumpy," said Van Tighem.

Camco boss Claude Mailloux said it would've "taken forever" to bring some galvanized steel into town.

"It looks like the city was quite happy in it not being galvanized," said Mailloux, adding that all the metal needs to protect it from the elements is a coat of paint. It's hard to please 200 club members."