By DAVID JUDD
Norfolk County is selling the former Woodhouse garage on Cockshutt Road north of Port Dover.
Great Lakes Offshore Services Inc. has agreed to buy the garage for $250,100.
County council was expected to approve the sale last night, Feb. 12.
The garage has been closed since last summer. Staff work out of Simcoe.
It’s hard to argue against selling the Woodhouse garage as long as there’s no deterioration in service, Port Dover Coun. John Wells said on the weekend.
Coun. Wells said he would have preferred to keep the Woodhouse yard open.
But it is easier to schedule work when Simcoe and former Woodhouse staff all work out of Simcoe.
“It’s not as if Simcoe is on Mars,” Coun. Wells said.
Closing the Woodhouse garage will save $19,000 a year in maintenance and upgrades, Eric D’Hondt, the county’s general manager of public works and environmental services told councillors last July.
The county also would avoid spending $62,000 to upgrade the Woodhouse yard’s fence, fuel tanks, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning.
In 2009, eight employees who had worked out of the Woodhouse garage were moved to the Schellburg yard in Simcoe, where they remain.
At the same time, staff that had worked out of the county’s main garage in Simcoe moved to the Woodhouse garage while the Simcoe garage was renovated.
The Simcoe staff moved back to the Highway 3 garage after renovations finished last summer.
Since then, no staff have worked out of the Woodhouse garage.
Having the former Woodhouse staff start their day in Simcoe has not pushed up costs, Mr. D’Hondt said last July.
No resident in the Port Dover area has complained about a deterioration in service since Woodhouse staff moved to Simcoe in 2009, Coun. Wells told The Maple Leaf.
“It hurts me and I like to keep employees in town but, as long as there is no deterioration in service, it’s possible it (the sale) is the right thing to do,” Coun. Wells said.
Great Lakes Offshore Services will park vehicles at the Woodhouse property for now, the company’s Darrin Smith said in an interview.
He said he likes the property’s location close to his home in Port Dover.