Renfrew – With the official opening of the Ma-Te-Way Activity Centre scheduled for this fall, Renfrew council has authorized an investment of $141,969 to pay for modern exercise equipment for a new fitness centre.

The Activity Centre expansion project includes a new state-of-the-art fitness centre to replace the current centre on Argyle Street. The new centre will be three times the size and it is expected to have a larger paid membership utilizing the facility.

Funding has been set aside each year in a reserve to pay for the new equipment. To date there is $150,000 in a reserve fund. Three tenders were received for the equipment: from Matrix Fitness – $152,601.90; Liv North Inc. – $203,944.88 and Fitness Depot – $141,969.

The recommendation to accept the quote from Fitness Depot was approved by council during its August 8 council meeting.

Jordan Wall, the town’s previous Director of Parks and Recreation department, said the Fitness Depot bid was accepted not only because it came in at the lowest and under budget, but the company offered additional services.

“Fitness Depot’s submission offers all of the equipment requested within the specifications,” he told council. “The additional cost savings and discounts provided by Fitness Depot includes a three-year preventive maintenance contract valued at $12,000 and a credit of $10,000 for our current equipment.

“They guarantee delivery time of two to three weeks, which is something that is important as it was far and beyond any other company as the average wait time is between eight to 12 weeks.”

He said the company will also move the existing equipment and come in and set up all the new equipment which will be stored in Ottawa and can be delivered in 48 hours of the room being ready.

Councillor Jason Legris inquired whether the equipment includes advanced computer features.

“I was wondering if the equipment is technologically advanced because if we have people coming in from Ottawa and want to use the facility, sometimes they have cellphones that work with the equipment,” he said.

“There is a definite upgrade from what we have now in our fitness room,” Mr. Wall replied. “We are getting high-end LED consoles and they are far superior from what anyone around here is going to see. What we have now compared to what we are going to get is night and day.”

Councillor John MacDonald asked if the surplus equipment would be sent to the town’s fire hall for firefighters to use.

Chief Administrative Officer Robert Tremblay recommended the surplus equipment not be kept.

“Just to remind council that you authorized free memberships for staff…and I would recommend that all staff, including firefighters, be encouraged to use the new fitness centre. That would free up space at the fire hall for any future programming and that we take the credit ($10,000) and use towards offsetting the costs of setting up this centre.”

Bruce McIntyre, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader

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