Russell hires GHD to design facility

·2 min read

EMBRUN – GHD Limited is set to design the township of Russell’s new Snow Dump Facility for $149,000 before taxes. The decision was made during the March 15 council meeting where executive director of Infrastructure services Jonathan Bourgon made the recommendation. The four-part request, which was approved in full, included passing a bylaw accepting GHD’s bid, accepting the consulting fees of $169,274 (includes taxes), approving an increase to the budget over the next two years for a total of $145,000, and giving the mayor and clerk authorization to sign the contract “An extra $145,000 will be required to complete the design and construction supervision, which would be financed from the Development Charge Reserve,” Bourgon stated in his recommendation, noting there is already $35,000 in the reserve from a 2020 transfer. “Therefore, an extra $74,300 will be required in the 2021 budget for the design and $50,500 will be part of the 2022 budget for the construction supervision.” Only two bids were submitted by the project deadline with GHD Limited coming in significantly lower than the competitor. The difference was a savings of $144,624. “It boggles my mind that we have two companies that bid for this with such a huge difference in price,” Councillor Mike Tarnowksi said. “I’m worried that we’re accepting something that won’t be what we need and will end up costing more.” Bourgon said there are many factors that go into formulating a bid and each company is different. A company may bid higher if it does not have all the equipment or people needed, which means they would need to contract for more. A busy company may bid higher to make taking the job worthwhile for them. It is also possible that a company bidding lower may do so because they have done this work before, which means the job could require less effort for them. Noting Tarnowski’s concern, CAO Jean Leduc said that going forward, staff would include another line on the quarterly tenders reports for actual cost. He said this added tracking measure will help to identify any existing issues. “We are going to include actual, so we can find out if a contractor is bidding low and adding on afterward,” he said.

Sandy Casselman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chesterville Record