The provincial boiler inspector has ordered the city to replace the boilers in the the Port Alberni RCMP building due to unsafe carbon monoxide levels, a parks and recreation report shows.
Port Alberni city council is discussing the issue at their meeting on Monday.
In a report to council, Parks and Recreation director Scott Kenny outlined the replacement issue, saying that it needs to be done now.
If the boiler fails or is shut down by the inspector, “There will be no heat in the majority of the RCMP building,” the report noted.
The replacement will cost $90,000, and can be underwritten by the Land Sale Reserve fund, the report noted.
The boilers gave had issues from the outset, Kenny noted.
In 2010, the main heat exchange chamber failed and was determined to be too costly to replace and it hasn’t operated since.
City officials were going to sketch out the requirements of the replacement in 2011 and build the cost into the 2012 capital budget. But recent events necessitated an immediate replacement.
According to the report, city workers were called to the RCMP building on Friday, Dec. 2, after police noticed the smell of gas in the building.
A subsequent inspection by a heating contractor found that carbon monoxide levels in the boiler room exceeded safe levels. Repairs were made but the fire department was called to the station because of the same problem.
The problem persisted and the provincial boiler inspector ordered the system shut down on Dec. 4.
Repairs were made and carbon monoxide levels were found to be closer to acceptable safe limits. The repair was only short term solution, however, and the boilers must be replaced, the inspector said.
The RCMP building was opened in 2006.
Parks and recreation staff were not involved in the design or construction of the building, Kenny said.