Petrolia pays $80k for Y backyard consulting

MIG Engineering's concept of the grounds of the Petrolia Y.

The engineering firm which compiled the four-phase plan Backyard Plan at the Petrolia Y will receive $80,000 for it services. That’s part of the agreement the Town of Petrolia signed with Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario for $699,000 in funding for the project.

According to a report by Dave Menzies, the director and facilities for the town, MIG Engineering had been working with the town staff for seven months before council approved the concept and signed the grant papers in May. At that point, the plans MIG had designed had not been revealed publicly nor had the four-phase plan been approved by the municipal council. Town staff applied for the grant without seeking that approval.

Menzies May 9 report says “Once council approves the signing authorities, the agreement, banking information and associated paperwork will be returned to our project support manager at FedDev. The Clerk will produce a cover letter to indicate council’s approval.”

After the grant was received and the town was committed to putting up $233,000 for the project which had received no direct public input. Mayor Brad Loosley told The Independent he encouraged town staff to apply for grants without first clearing the projects through council.

CAO Rick Charlebois says construction of the soccer pitches beside the Y facility is now well underway and they will be ready for use in the new year. He expects the 100-space parking lot should be complete next summer. Originally, the town was to have completed the work by Feb. 2023, according to the contract signed with the federal agency, however Charlebois says the town has received verbal approval to complete the project by Feb. 2024 because of the issues surrounding construction materials in supply chains.

It’s not clear when, or if, the engineering firm which will consult throughout the project, will hold an open public session to lay out all the details, as Menzies suggested in his report in May. Council received the plan at its final council meeting Sept. 12.