Renfrew is going back to the tendering board for three of “the worst roads in town”

·2 min read

Renfrew – Residents who live on Joffre, Haig and Dufferin Streets in Renfrew can put away their celebration hats for another year as town council voted last week not to accept the lone bid received to finally fix up three of the bumpiest roads in town.

During his report to council, Mike Asselin, the town’s Director of Development and Works, informed them the awarding of the bid in the amount of $2,698,000 could result in an additional $1.1 million in construction costs. A scaled down version would still have a cost overrun of $700,000.

Although staff worked with Bonnechere Excavating Inc. to bring it down from the original submission of $2,991,000, it was not enough and that would force council to somehow come up with the difference.

Reeve Peter Emon inquired as to why only one bid was received on such a major project.

“I am not being suspicious, but I am just curious as to why only one bid was received and there were other firms interested,” he said.

Mr. Asselin said Renfrew is not alone in this trend as he said his counterparts in Arnprior, Bancroft and Kingston reported the same trend. He said there was not really any one reason. Local contractors cite a busy work schedule among the reasons why there is a low return on bids for major projects. Mr. Asselin said perhaps it is was a set of circumstances coming together at this time in the industry.

Council agreed not to award the tender to BEI.

Instead, it directed staff to draft a report to council stating the committee’s decision not to proceed with the award for construction and to work with engineers to retender and extend deadlines into 2023.

Both Mayor Don Eady and Councillor Sandi Heins acknowledged the fact the three streets slated for a major facelift are among the worst in Renfrew in terms of the severity of the bumps and residents deserve better. But to proceed with the project would mean council needs to find $1.1 million from other projects that were within their assigned budgets.

Council is hopeful residents will be patient as town staff work on a new tender that still provides quality work for a lesser costs.

Bruce McIntyre, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader

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