PARRY SOUND – Although the town is especially concerned with saving money over the next few years, council was hesitant to award a recent construction job to the lowest bidder.
Lowest bidder selected for street work, despite concerns.
Phase 1 work on Dufferin and Wakefield Street is set to begin in a few weeks
Cody Storm Cooper/Beacon Star
Tuesday night town council discussed at length awarding a tender for Phase 1 construction on Wakefield and Dufferin Streets because of concerns that a lower bid would mean sub-par work.
“It always concerns me when we do these two tenders and I see two tenders and I see two bids that are within $8,000 of one another, and one that’s less than half of that,” said Coun. Paul Borneman Tuesday. “Do you have any concerns in reviewing those bids as to if people were comparing apples to apples?”
Peter Brown, town director of public works, said this particular Request for Proposals (RFP) was difficult to design, build and read.
“Because it’s not necessarily comparing apples to apples because each engineering firm does it a little bit differently – different layout, they combine specific jobs with certain people like the design and construction, versus contract and administration,” said Brown, “So it was very difficult for me to wrap my head around the second phase. One of the things I wanted to comment is that CC Tatham’s phase two proposal is based on a tentative constructive period. The others are based on a longer construction period. Having said that, when I wrote down a basic, per day (cost)…CC Tatham still is the lower bid, as far as per day cost. I’ve worked with all three of these companies for the last, many years, so I’m confident that CC Tatham will provide the kind of service the Town of Parry Sound needs.”
The first phase of the water main, sewer main, road, curb and gutter work ($34,805) set to begin in a few weeks is within the current budget. Construction on the second phase ($44, 155) wouldn’t begin unless or until government funding can be secured.
“I have a lot of skepticism with the whole system of going with the lowest bidder,” said Coun. Keith Saulnier. “It has burned us before and I just need some clarity and comfort. You’ve just gone over it, but are we really sure that it’s almost 50 per cent less?”
Although Brown said he couldn’t speak to the town’s past experiences with other companies, he reiterated he was certain this company’s work would meet the town’s standards.
“As I said earlier, I’m confident this particular company will perform and do the kind of work that the Town of Parry Sound requires,” said Brown. “I can’t answer for what happened in previous jobs with the Town of Parry Sound. I’ve read about it, I’ve heard about it, but a lot of municipalities have gone through similar pains, shall we say. I’m confident this particular company will do the work.”
Council approved Phase 1 of the project, awarding the job to CC Tatham for $34,805.