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Big furniture buy will save in the long run, says Quilty

By Mark Squibb/June 17, 2022

Paradise council has approved the purchase of almost $50,000 worth of new office furniture to accommodate staffing needs, a move councillor Deborah Quilty says will save money in the long run by forestalling the need to find more office space.

The Town requested specifications with supply-and-install quotes from three suppliers for furniture for the boardroom and IT office at the community centre, as well as for two Town Hall offices.

“Modular furniture for the boardroom is needed to expand the functionality of the room by accommodating a variety of layouts, and all the office furniture doubles the occupancy of the rooms that it is intended for,” explained councillor Deborah Quilty. “The cost from the three suppliers range from $34,471.04 to $49,482.89.”

Quilty said that besides cost, factors such as esthetics, ergonomics, and functionality were all considered. 

Pinnacle Office Solutions best satisfied the specifications, and Quilty said the Town went back to Pinnacle to request a new price that included two additional boardroom tables and four additional boardroom chairs

The cost, with the additional furniture, is $48,460, HST included.

The motion passed unanimously, but not without discussion.

“We’re talking about almost $50,000 worth of furniture; at this particular moment in time, is this something that’s built out of necessity, out of a need, or is it meant to enhance or replace currently functional assets that we already have in the town?” asked councilor Glen Carew. “$50,000 worth of furniture is a fairly significant (number) of desks and chairs. And I know that that’s what this stuff costs. I’m just wondering if it’s a need or a want?”

Quilty said the Town would not be replacing any furniture, and that the new furniture would “accommodate staff to utilize the space that we have available.”

“In the broad scheme of things, the way I look at it, I would rather be after spending the $48,466 for furniture to accommodate the staff as opposed to going out and looking for space to put them into, so I think it’s a great investment here for the Town to utilize the spaces that we have available,” said Quilty.

She added the new furniture could allow the Town to offer more ‘in-house’ training, which could cut back on costs in the long run.

Councilor Patrick Martin chimed in with his support, saying it was better for the Town to utilize the space they have then to go looking for new space.

“We’re actually pushing the limit with the space that we have for our employees. We’re actually out of space for our employees,” said Martin. “So, with the new office equipment, we’re going to be putting two people in the space where we would only usually have one, just to try and utilize the space that we have, because, like I said, we’re actually out of space for employees. It’s costly, but it’s good equipment.”

Mayor Dan Bobbett put his stamp of approval on the motion by concluding the furniture was both purposeful and of good quality.

“It’s good value for your money,” said Bobbett.

The motion passed unanimously.

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