Jeff Green | Oct 18, 2007
Feature Article - October 18, 2007 Feature Article - October 18, 2007
North Frontenac Council - Oct. 11by Jeff Green
Sand contract – Earlier this summer, the township received an offer to screen, stack, and load sand into the township sheds for $34,000 from a company called Weir Construction. Public Works Manager John Ibey recommended to council that through a request for proposal process, the contract could be awarded to Weir construction, saving the township the cost of loading the sand into the sheds, which has been the normal practice.
This suggestion was rejected in favour of a tendering process for winter sand.
John Ibey tendered the project for screening, stacking, and loading this year, hoping to find a price similar to the one Weir had proposed in June. However, when staff opened the tenders, only one vendor had submitted a bid even though five had inquired, and the offer was $67,500, almost double the earlier offer. Weir Construction did not answer the tender, saying they had taken on other work in the meantime, and were no longer interested.
This caused Public Works Manager John Ibey to recommend that the township take care of the loading themselves, as in years past. The resulting cost will be close to $50,000 all told, more than the $34,000 that had been proposed in June, but a lot less than the $67,500 that came about through tendering the whole job.
“We need to do it this way if we are going to stay within our budget,” John Ibey told Council.
The proposal was acceptable to council, although Councilor Bob Olmstead asked why the tenders had been opened by CAO Cheryl Robson and Public Works Manager John Ibey.
“Why were they not opened here, in front of council?” Olmstead asked.
CAO Robson responded that, “according to our procurement bylaw, tenders that are under $100,000 can be opened by the CAO and the relevant department head. It is only the larger tenders that need to be opened with Council present.”
This conversation led Councillor Wayne Good to confront the question of why council keeps insisting on a tender process in place of a request for proposal system. “We had a cheaper price before one particular councillor insisted this go to a tender process, and now we are paying more because of it. This is the second time this has happened this year. We should let staff get on with the job, instead of meddling in their business in the first place,” he said.
“I don’t care. Things should be brought to tender,” Olmstead said.
Signs – Norcan Signs has won a contract to construct 10 entrance and 27 hamlet signs for the township. Each sign will cost $250 and there will be a cost of $2,000 for poles and $3,000 for installation.
The signs will include the Land O’ Lakes Tourist Association logo, which will enable the township to receive grants to help fund the project. There is money in the 2007 budget for the project.
Christmas Break – Council approved the closing of the township office between Christmas and New Year’s, as has been the practice for the past 6 years. The office will close at noon, on Monday December 24, and will remain closed until 9:00 am on Wednesday, January 2. Treasury staff will work during this closure to ensure that all monies are deposited and recorded for year-end.