Petrolia council gives staff pre-approval to buy $85K lift


Heather Wright/The Independent

You can’t always get what you want, particularly when you’re a municipal government looking for used equipment.

That was the gist of the concerns of Petrolia staff as they asked councillors to grant CAO Rick Charlebois the authority to spend up to $85,000 to buy a scissor lift for Victoria Hall.

The lift is used mainly to bring theatre equipment and props to the second floor stage of the building.

During the 2023 budget deliberations, council asked staff to begin searching for a used piece of equipment instead of buying something new, hoping to save taxpayers’ dollars.
But Director of Parks and Recreation, Dave Menzies, says that hasn’t been working very well. The town has lost out on a number of lifts simply because it couldn’t get approval to spend the cash quickly enough.

Recently, Menzies says, the town had a line on a scissor lift in Bracebridge which looked good. Everything was in place except for the approval when Menzies got a call. “The gentleman that contacted us back and said it’s gone.”
Menzies says they now have their eyes on a unit in Ohio. “They got our name on it doesn’t mean that somebody won’t buy it before we get there,” he says.

Normally, any purchase over $25,000 would need council’s approval before purchase. Councillors agreed to allow the CAO to purchase the equipment up to the $85,000 in the budget without council’s specific approval.