Council approved four engineering contracts totalling more than $124,000 at its May 24 meeting but set new limits on how the contracts would be awarded in the future.
During a council-in-committee meeting earlier in May, Coun. Trina Jones raised several concerns about how the town awarded engineering work to Dillon Consultants. She explained the wording of contracts, which included a percentage process for additional fees, could unfairly cost the town extra money.
She also noted larger engineering congrats should be tendered.
At the council's request, CAO Andrew Garnett said Dillon restructured its offer for the jobs.
He explained the first and largest contract involving engineering for designated highway improvements would cost $53,325 plus GST.
He explained Dillon quoted the town $37,900 to handle engineering for the St. Andrews Street water upgrades.
Work at the wellhouse would cost $18,800 for Dillon's engineering expertise, while Eastwood Heights' water upgrades would total $14,400.
Garnett said the province doesn't dictate limits requiring open tender on professional contracts such as engineering. However, the CAO explained, the town has a policy requiring council approval for any contract over $25,000.
"That being said," Garnett added, "I'm recommending that for all four that we do these," Garnett said. "
He explained many are multi-year projects in which Dillon has provided engineering services since the beginning.
"I feel we do these now, and in the future, if we want to look at engineering services, as a whole, moving forward, we can do that," Garnett said.
Jones welcomed the changes. She said the two lower-price contracts didn't need to come before council. She said the $37,900 project sits between the $25,000 and $50,000 threshold, so it requires council's approval.
She said the contract of more than $50,000 should go to tender.
"Anything over $50,000, I'm going to hammer it every time," Jones said.
Council unanimously passed the motions on the three lower-priced contracts, while Jones delivered the only nay vote against the highest-contract motion.
Jim Dumville, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, River Valley Sun