October 9th, 2016 will be a day that the residents of Gull Lake and surrounding communities will never forget. A senseless act of arson destroyed a landmark building in our town and impacted our entire community both emotionally and financially. The following information is the steps that Town Council took to deal with problems the community faced after the fire.
On November 2, 2016 Clarendon Hotel owner Roger Bouvier was invited to the council meeting to discuss his plans for the hotel property and a timeline for the cleanup of the lot. Mr. Bouvier told Council that he had insurance to cover the firefighting costs but only had enough insurance for a partial cleanup. He made it very clear that he did not have the funds to initiate a cleanup of the property.
On November 9, 2016 I called a Special Meeting of Council to discuss issuing an Order to Remedy the state of the property. Council felt the order was required to compel Mr. Bouvier to take the necessary steps to initiate the cleanup of the property. The order was passed and was served to Mr. Bouvier on November 15, 2016.
On November 23, 2016 council meeting, a motion was made declaring the property dangerous to the public safety and authorized a fence to be erected around the property.
Upon expiry of the Order to Remedy and after receiving no communication from Mr. Bouvier Council authorized a clean up the property at the December 28, 2016 meeting. A tender to clean up the property was issued on January 5, 2017.
On the regular meeting of March 8th the Council received and reviewed 3 bids submitted by companies in response to the tender. As part of the tendering process Council must ensure that all bids meet the requirements of the tender. The tender called for the complete removal of all debris to be removed from the site. Unfortunately, one bid had to be rejected as it allowed for 30 loads of debris to be removed from the site after which hourly charges would apply. The remaining two bids complied with the terms of the tender, and the successful bid was Knudsen Excavating Ltd for $107,671.00. The Knudsen bid was $37,359.00 lower than the remaining bid.
It should be noted that the owner’s insurance did cover all the firefighting expenses. All unpaid costs of the clean up shall be a debt owed to the Town of Gull Lake and on failure to pay the debt, the costs shall be added to the taxes on the property.