South Algonquin awards tender for new plow truck

·3 min read

At their meeting on March 1, South Algonquin council discussed the purchase of a new tandem axle plow truck, which could take up to two years to be delivered and could cost more than it is currently priced at for 2023. After discussion and questions, council subsequently voted to award the tender of the new plow truck to Windslow-Gerolamy in Peterborough, in the amount of $334,512 plus HST.

Bryan Martin, South Algonquin’s CAO, submitted a report to council on the tender for the new plow truck at their meeting on March 1. He and staff recommended that council accept their recommendation for the tender from Windslow-Gerolamy for the new tandem axle plow truck in the amount of $334,512 plus HST.

According to Martin’s report, staff prepared and issued the tender for a new plow truck, and the tender was issued directly to known suppliers as well as listed on MERX, a government tendering website. The tenders were closed on Feb. 17 and only one tender was received.

“The tender we received is consistent with current submissions in other municipalities I’ve spoken with. The tender is based on 2023 pricing for a vehicle. The tandem is not expected to be built until the third or fourth quarter of 2024 and may even be the first quarter of 2025. In April, they will update the prices with the 2024 price sheet and should the truck slip to 2025 they will again update the price. We will have the option when the price is revised to decide not to purchase the truck, although from an operational perspective, this would not likely be a possibility,” he said in his report.

Martin said that Windslow-Gerolamy told him they have only 40 vehicles they’re able to build per annum as a dealer.

“We’re number 42 or 43 for 2024, so he doesn’t have an actual allocation. They told him to expect the same allocation they had in 2023. So, he’s anticipating a 2025 likely delivery of our vehicle,” he says.

Martin said that council could either do nothing, or implement staff’s recommendation, which would be part of good asset management planning that ensures the township can meet their objective to improve road maintenance within their Strategic Plan. He said that this purchase would affect reserve and reserve transfers for 2024 or 2025 and those reserves would need to be replaced in future years as part of South Algonquin’s comprehensive asset management plan and financial plan that council will be getting later in 2023.

Even though they need the plow truck, the township has the option to walk away from the deal with Windslow-Gerolamy if the price gets too high over the next year or two.

Martin mentioned to council that when municipalities or businesses do walk away, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario has a program called Canoe* that allows townships to bid on trucks where deals have fallen through due to these long delivery times and likely price increases. In the meantime, South Algonquin is continuing to spend significant money on repairs to the current plow truck to keep it operational until the new truck is delivered in the 2024/2025 timeframe.

Later in the council meeting, the resolution to accept staff’s recommendation for the new plow truck tender was moved by Councillor Joe Florent and seconded by Councillor Bill Rodnick. Florent was adamant that they had to get into the queue for the new plow truck.

“If we do nothing, we’ll never get a new truck. If something comes up, we can always discuss it and change it but we have to get in the queue,” he says.

Council subsequently passed the resolution to award the tender to Windslow-Gerolamy for the new tandem axle plow truck in the amount of $334,512 plus HST.

Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times