With taxpayers spending $380 per day for round-the-clock security at the Cockshutt timekeepers’ building, Coun. Jan Vanderstelt is pleased that council has prioritized finding a fire suppression system for the building.
A sprinkler system, which Vanderstelt estimates would cost the city $9,000, will protect the building from fire and eliminate the need for costly site security, he said.
“We could have paid for a sprinkler system installed four times” with what the city has already spent on security, said Vanderstelt, who at past council meetings has publicly advocated for a fire suppression system.
“Let’s protect our investment, based on the experience we had with the adjoining buildings,” he said.
During a June 18 meeting, city council voted to preserve the timekeepers’ building at 66 Mohawk St.
Council had previously decided to brace the front facade of the building and demolish the rest, but ultimately decided to spend $37,200 to shore up the entire exterior.
That decision meant 24-hour security at the Greenwich-Mohawk brownfield – which began shortly after a suspicious fire gutted the Cockshutt office building on March 30 – would continue indefinitely until the city could find a workable security solution.
City staff is currently preparing a schedule and collecting cost estimates for the remedial work prioritized by council, which includes repairing the roof, repointing, restorative work and fire suppression.
“We’re soliciting costs for a number of provisional items to improve the condition of the building,” said Jim Quin, Brantford’s manager of corporate properties.
“In terms of fire suppression, we haven’t looked into that too much at this point. I think our first priority is sealing the building and making sure there is no damage that can be done from the weather,” said planning director Matt Reniers.
The city must confirm whether a water line is still connected to the building and compare various fire suppression options, including sprinkler, carbon dioxide and glycol systems.
“We just haven’t gotten far enough into it yet to determine what we can do with the money provided,” Quin said.