BROCKTON – Council discussed the latest in a series of tenders that have come in substantially over budget, and ended up defeating the motion to accept it.
Councillors Dean Leifso and Kym Hutcheon voted in favour of the motion, with Deputy Mayor Dan Gieruszak and councillors Tim Elphick and Steve Adams voting against it.
The tender was for the north water tower rehabilitation, with the recommendation to award the project to C3 Industrial, a division of C3 Building and Infrastructure, in the amount of $602,207.81 including tax.
The rehabilitation project has been on the capital project list for the past couple of years, according to the report presented by Gregg Furtney, director of operations. The estimated amount listed in the 2022 budget was $452,000, based on an inspection report prepared in 2020.
The project includes interior and exterior coatings, including painting and branding the water tower to look the same as the south tower; health and safety upgrades including new ladder, harness connections and top railing; and a new valve to be cut into the base of the tower.
There were only two submissions when the project was put out to tender. C3 Industrial was the lower of the two, with the other one coming in at $729,621.
Furtney stated the health and safety upgrades, the new valve and the overall increased cost of labour and material contributed to the increase in price. However, the project is “long overdue and necessary to support the growing needs of the community and its growth.”
Adams noted the cost of the work on the south tower was $280,000 in 2018; the tenders for the north tower were “way over.” He further noted that “every one of our tenders is way over … will we see a massive increase in another year?” He suggested that in preparation for 2023, that the numbers be looked at.
Mayor Chris Peabody asked about the possibility of deferring the project for a year.
Furtney said it could be deferred for a year but he wouldn’t recommend delaying the work “for much longer.” Furtney added that he didn’t think the numbers will decrease. “The vendors are accustomed to these prices,” he said. And the municipality is only getting one or two companies bidding, when they used to get five.
Elphick suggested “the time will come when we may have to prioritize … we don’t want to get to the end of the year and find the budget is 30 to 40 per cent over.” He, like Adams, would like to see some numbers.
Leifso said, “What scares me is the second tender was $120,000 more … I think this is a need, not a want, and I’m afraid it will be more next year.”
A second tender recommendation, for replacement of the ferric chloride storage tank, was approved without question. Adams said, “This is a health and safety requirement.”
The tender was awarded to BGK Contractors Corp. in the amount of $184,250 including tax.
Ferric chloride is used in water and wastewater treatment to improve the quality of the water. Veolia North America staff had identified some health and safety concerns with the tank at the wastewater treatment plant in Walkerton, besides which the tank was at its full life expectancy and due for replacement. The project was listed in the 2022 capital project budget for $90,000.
Three tenders were submitted; the one from BGL was lowest. The highest came in at $330,751.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times