Chilliwack council spends $290,569 on vandal-proof lockers

Test lockers had ‘no break-ins or maintenance issues’ in 15 months, according to staff report

New lockers touted as “corrosion and vandal proof” are on the way for city-owned pool facilities.

Council approved staff recommendation Tuesday for the ‘Aquatic Centre’s Change Room Locker Upgrade’ in the amount of $290,569, to purchase 534 lockers.

“The existing metal lockers in the City of Chilliwack aquatic change rooms have reached the end of their life expectancy,” according to the staff report of Dec. 17.

Coun. Bud Mercer asked if the locker upgrade was a response to the thefts.

Ryan Mulligan, director of Parks and Recreation, said the locker upgrade was mostly “just age” since they are 17 years old. The decision to replace them wasn’t based on the “frequency” of theft reports, he said.

However the staff report noted that vandals consistently “punch” the older locking mechanisms, and “locker theft is becoming all too commonplace,” referring to lockers in both the Landing Leisure Centre and Cheam Leisure Centre.

A recent theft victim, Jason Adams started a petition, which had 291 signatures, urging city officials to do something about the lockers and the theft at the Landing Leisure Centre.

READ MORE: Demanding action on pool thefts

Metal corrosion from the “constant exposure” to chlorinated air was also a factor in the decision to replace them, according to the staff report.

The locker supplier, Richelieu Building Specialties, has developed a custom-made plastic locker that is both “corrosion and vandal proof” with a stronger, superior type of lock.

Coun. Mercer commented that the existing locking mechanisms were “antiquated,” and hoped the upgrade would address this issue, and staff confirmed it would.

Coun. Jeff Shields asked about the lifespan of the new lockers and Mulligan responded they could last 20 to 30 years.

Mayor Ken Popove quipped that he thought that given the replacement cost that they must be made out of “titanium.”

The city bought 40 of these lockers in July 2018 and placed them in the “most problematic” change room, the men’s change room to test them out.

“The 40 test lockers have had no break-ins or maintenance issues over the past 15 months,” according to the report.

The substantiation for a direct purchase from a sole source supplier of this kind over $75,000 is found in the criteria of purchasing policy c-14, which lists: “specialized products or services” as one type of purchase that does not require a procurement process like going out to tender, or issuing a request for proposals, prior to council approval.

READ MORE: Locker theft left bitter taste


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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