Boat ordered for TLTI building department

It doesn’t happen often, but the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands's chief administrative officer has exercised his power to help get the township a boat for its building department.

In the 2023 budget, $50,000 was approved for the building department to purchase a boat, helping the department with inspections and enforcement activities on the township’s rivers and lakes.

“Currently, if they have to go out, they have to take a fire service boat out of service, take the time from a member of the fire service to run the boat, and then they’re out for the day,” CAO Stephen Donachey told council Monday. “It’s not the most efficient or effective use of fire department resources, to say the least.”

Quotes were obtained, Donachey added, for a 17-foot boat, with the lowest quote coming in at $44,899.

“The highest for the same boat was $74,595,” Donachey added.

With taxes added on to the lowest quote obtained, the township would be over its budget by less than $5,500.

“The concern is if we wait until April to come to council to get approval on this, the boat probably will not be there,” Donachey said. “The marina quoted with the lowest quote has some stock, but they called us today saying that had just sold one of the boats. As the weather improves, people are going to start thinking about boats, and we might be out of luck at this price.

"Under the Procurement Policy I have the ability to waive the requirements when it’s for a single source. It’s something that I don’t do lightly. I think this is the first time I’m exercising that power under the Procurement Policy, but I think it’s a good case given the need to get a hold of a boat, which is a tough thing to buy these days, and it’s not that far over the $50,000 limit, so I’m comfortable in my role as CAO to approve it.”

Donachey proposed, and was ultimately given the go-ahead by council, to order the boat, then return back to council in April to seek approval.

“The boat will be badged with the township’s logo,” Donachey said. “So, the people on the water will certainly see the presence of the township and hopefully that will have a sobering effect on some who may otherwise consider building without a permit.”

(Keith Dempsey is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)

Keith Dempsey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times