Normally, a contractor defaulting on a contract with a township isn’t a good thing. But in the case of Dilawri Chrysler not being able to fulfill an order for three ½ ton pickups, it’s worked out rather well, at least from the standpoint of saving money.
Acting public works manager David Armstrong told Central Frontenac Council at its regular meeting Tuesday in Arden that the Township solicitor had reviewed the contract and considered the non-compliance a breach.
“We weren’t the only ones,” said Clerk Cathy MacMunn. “They had some 300 deals they made that they couldn’t fulfill, including four municipalities.”
Armstrong said that with the opportunity to review the Township’s needs, they would be better served by buying two 4 X 4 ¾ ton crew cabs.
And that’s the good news. The two ¾ tons come in at a price of $62,692, whereas the three ½ tons would have cost $97,000. Council had budgeted $120,000 for new vehicles in this year’s budget.
“Upon review, we thought the ¾ tons would suit our needs better as we can get more guys to the job in them, attach a plow to them and hook up trailers to them,” Armstrong said.
Coun. John Purdon said he wondered if the matter shouldn’t have come back to council when the breach was discovered but Clerk/Administrator Cathy MacMunn said the vehicles are needed now and will definitely be needed before winter, so they went ahead and called for tenders.
“With only one meeting in July and one in August, we felt the need for the equipment meant we should go ahead and call for tenders,” she said.
Coun. Phillip Smith and Brent Cameron had another concern.
“I’m having difficulties supporting the ¾ tons,” Smith said. “We have two ¾ tons at the fire substations and I think this would have been a good opportunity for fire and public works to get together on how to use those trucks.”
“It is something that’s been discussed,” said Cameron.
“There is an issue of time here,” said Coun. Vic Heese. “We can’t really reassign those trucks until after the fire plan is done.”
“My recollection is that the trucks in the fire stations wouldn’t work for your needs right now,” said Fire Chief Greg Robinson. “They might work next year.”
Council approved the acquisition of the two ¾ tons. Smith and Cameron voted against.
Kennebec Wilderness Trails
Following a presentation by Gord Brown and Kevin Laporte, Council approved several requests regarding the Kennebec Shores Parkland Trails including naming it Kennebec Wilderness Trails.
Designating it as Wilderness Trails under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act so that the rather rugged trails won’t have to be accessible to those with disabilities, an expensive, and in this case a near-impossible proposition.
Coun. Bill MacDonald pointed out that under the Act, ATVs and snowmobiles would be allowed to use the trails but Brown said they plan to install farm gates at trail entrances.
Council also approved $7,500 for said gates, signage, footbridges and parking facilities. The $7,500 was to have come from Parkland Reserves and is the same amount Mark Snider paid for two additional lots when he acquired the Kennebec Shores Waterfront Community.
However, Cathy MacMunn told Council that the current amount of funds in Parkland Reserves is “none,” and it would have to come out of general revenues.
Council also authorized the use of a 220 metre section of unopened road allowance to extend the yellow trail to Nordic Road as the existing part of the trail was flooded by beaver activity.
Dep. Mayor Tom Dewey chaired the meeting in the absence of Mayor Frances Smith who is recovering from eye surgery.
“I talked to the Mayor this morning and she is doing well — considering,” he said.
Following an email from CP Rail, Council approved $87,500 for its part in installing a new warning (gate) system at the Wagarville Road crossing in Parham.
There was no word on when the new system would be installed.