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Klatt Building Project Questions

Emergency Building Upgrade Grant Extended

Back in April, 2021, Patrick Weiler (MP, West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky) held a press conference with Bowinn Ma, (MLA, North Vancouver-Lonsdale) and then-Mayor Ron McLaughlin to announce the awarding of a grant intended to fund improvements to the Emergency Services building in Lions Bay.


The grant, valued at just under $500,000, was offered as a part of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) and the COVID-19 Resilience COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream (CVRIS) programs.


The Klatt building was originally constructed in 1990, and was named for Councillor Dale Klatt in 1993. Klatt had served the village as a councillor from 1985 to 1992. Upgrades have been sorely needed to the facility for a while, so the announcement was big news.


The plan was that the Village would construct a two-storey addition to the emergency building, as well as expanding the apparatus bays and retrofitting the Emergency Operations Centre, BC Ambulance, and Search and Rescue Services. Ultimately, the goal was that all the emergency services working out of the village would have more space to store equipment and hold meetings.


This announcement was made at the height of the pandemic, and since that time, construction costs and circumstances have all skyrocketed. This year at the February 21 council meeting, ESS Director Mary Brown pointed out the grant for the Klatt Building rebuild expires on December 31. She asked if there are approved building plans to put forward, and whether the building will be completed in time or if the grant money will expire. Her concern is well-placed – the village ESS committee has operated in the past out of the Klatt Building, and since 2021 all the emergency materials are in storage, pending the renovation. This is not an ideal scenario under any circumstances, and were the village to be faced with an emergency of any magnitude, such as a fire-evacuation notice or train derailment, the ESS team would be severely hampered.


Lions Bay Fire Rescue has operated in the village since the volunteer days of the early 1970s, and has run out of the Klatt Building since it opened. Today, the Lions Bay Fire Rescue generally runs with a complement of 35 on-call members, though they are looking for new trainees at the moment. According to Fire Chief Barret Germscheid, the department now operates under a Paid-On-Call (POC) system, which means members are paid when they attend emergency incidents. The Klatt building is also currently home to the BC Ambulance service, with up to four paramedics on call at any time.


Currently, an examination of the Federal Infrastructure Grant lists the forecasted commencement date for construction as March 1, 2023, with an anticipated completion date for the end of this year. Considering the start date as already passed without the tenders being sent out to potential contractors, this scenario is no longer plausible.


However in a written response to The Watershed, Councillor Michael Broughton confirmed the grant date has been extended to allow for completion of the upgrade. "A Project Manager is in place and the project is now set to move forward in a timely way within budget," Broughton added.



A Timeline of Klatt Building Upgrades:


  • On July 27, 2021, the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Grant of nearly $500,000 is announced, with funds earmarked to "construct a 2-storey addition to the emergency building (...) which will expand the apparatus bays and retrofit the Emergency Operations Centre, BC Ambulance, and Search and Rescue Services.

  • That same day, it was reported out of a closed meeting of council that the architectural contract was awarded to Millenia Architecture for the provision of Architectural, Mechanical and Electrical Design Services for the Klatt Building rebuild.

  • On May 20, 2022, Mayor Ron McLaughlin noted in the Village Update that council “directed staff to proceed with an agreement with CORE Project Management to provide project management services for the Klatt Building retrofit.”

  • On October 4, 2022, then-CAO Peter de Jong announced some design changes required to rein in costs, and that “a different” construction management model would be put in place. He stated that the revised plans were being pre-vetted by contractors and that the hope was to tender to contractors in early 2023, with a completion date of December 31, 2023.

  • In the March 7, 2023 council meeting, Mayor Berry announced that construction management will be overseen by former Fire Chief Andrew Oliver. (The July 2021 Village Update noted that Oliver was also a part of the team who helped pull the initial grant application together.)

  • Mayor Ken Berry recently reported in his weekly update that an extension to the grant deadline has been approved, if required.


This half-million dollar project is clearly important to the residents of the village, as well as to the emergency services operationing out of the Klatt Building.


Questions remain, including how the project will move past the initial drawing stage to see tenders issued for construction, and whether a project that was initially helmed by the village CAO and CORE is able to move forward in spite of cost increases, a change of direction and construction plan.


Also, Lions Bay still has no Building Inspector, meaning it is unclear how permits will proceed, and if the tendering, selection and construction processes can be completed in time to qualify for the grant.


Follow The Watershed as we cover developments with this project as they happen. Do you have memories of the Klatt Building you'd like to share? Leave your comments below, or email your thoughts to editor@lionsbaywatershed.ca










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Norma Rodgers
Norma Rodgers
Apr 04, 2023

Thank you Dave Butler for providing the truth about the Klatt Building project. I have heard fans of Mayor Berry claim many things about former staff that I know to be untrue.

Thank you Rose Dudley for summarizing the divide between residents who are uninformed and believe misinformation is fact, versus the residents who are monitoring Council actions closely to expose the secrecy, cronyism and flouting of community charter rules.

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Thank you to the former Building Inspector, Dave Butler, for setting the record straight on the story of the Klatt Building and providing us with a clear time-line.

With all due respect to Emily Montgomery who was quick to blame the former CAO for delays, I believe she has been fed that misinformation by those people who were determined and succeeded in getting rid of the former Mayor and Council and a competent CAO who had served the Village for seven years.

The fallout from such action has led to the loss of a long-serving, knowledgeable and fair-minded Council Member, Norm Barmier, and five more highly qualified staff members to date.

Emily's comment is representative of the misinformation that has…

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One’s again more misinformation, Peter DeJong did NOT delay this project. The Klatt Building Plans were submitted on July 1st 2022 and a building permit was issued July 7th 2022, but due to the plans submitted the we’re going to greatly exceed our Grant amount, so a revised set reducing area and roof design was submitted by the architect at the beginning of November and a new revised building permit was issued November 16th 2022. At this time our Fire Chief Andrew Oliver resigned he had intended to lead this project as the project manager but stepped away from it, leaving the Village to seek another Project Manager, otherwise this project was all ready to roll December 2022 under…

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Excellent reporting, Karen. Appreciate your newsletter .

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