Letter: Powell River council made a responsible decision

Your recent editorial questioned council’s decision on part of the wastewater treatment project [“Sole decision,” August 14]. With respect, I have a different opinion.

At the July 23 City of Powell River Finance Committee meeting, the manager of engineering services presented a detailed report supplemented by an in-depth verbal report on the oversight services contract for the wastewater treatment plant project. The manager pointed out that the oversight services contract and the design services contract are usually awarded at the same time through an RFP process. That could not be done in this case because, at the time the design contract was awarded, the city did not have approved federal or provincial funding for construction.

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The manager explained in detail how the award to [Associated Engineering] is acceptable under the city purchasing bylaw because of the specialized services required and AE’s accumulated knowledge level of the plant design. AE has been involved in the project from its early stages, has assisted in securing funding and has been involved in the value engineering process, which ensures that we will be getting a robust solution that meets the needs of the community.

This decision will ensure continuity on the project and allow the city to meet schedule requirements and potentially impact funding deadlines.

The manager reported on his work, confirming that the costs are lower than the average for similar projects in the area and his belief that a bidding process would take valuable time and, quite possibly, not result in lower bids.

You can be assured that the bidding process is underway for the construction phases, which will be the major cost factors in this almost $80-million project.

Every member of council is keeping a close eye on the city’s financial situation in these challenging times and thinking through their decisions. I believe that council made a responsible decision in this case taking into account our bylaws, overall project costs and timelines, what is best for city residents and, in the end, what will be best for our environment.

George Doubt, chair
City of Powell River Finance Committee

 
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