Town of Stettler council declined a staff recommendation on one of three tenders discussed at the Tuesday, July 5, after the tender amount came in twice the estimate.
The original request for proposal was for a winged PTO pull-behind mower, which is similar to ones used by the province to mow alongside the highways, Parks and Recreation Director Lee Penner told council. The key difference between the mower the town was looking for and that used by the province was that the one sought by the town was smaller and only had one “wing” stretched behind the tractor pulling it.
Penner said that the town had purchased a winged mower several years ago but in use found it to be too heavy for the town’s tractors to pull, and so sold it. The 2016 capital budget allotted $10,000 for the purchase of the mower.
The town contacted three local suppliers, Bill’s Farm Supplies, Future AG Inc, and Cervus Equipment, but only Bill’s Farm Supplies sent in a tender for the mower, at the cost of $23,900, plus GST.
Councillor Sean Nolls said the over-run concerned him and that he would “really like some comparison before we decide,” a sentiment echoed by several other councillors.
However, Councillor Al Campbell said that he thought the town had likely simply set the target price too low, and made a motion to accept the staff recommendation of purchasing the mower at the price offered by Bill’s Farm Equipment.
In the end, the motion was defeated 4-3, with only councillors Campbell, Malcolm Fischer, and Will Brown in favour.
Town to buy second Zamboni, new HVAC units for SRC
Council did approve two tenders, one to purchase a second Zamboni and another to purchase two HVAC (heating-ventilation-air conditioning) units to replace aging ones at the Stettler Recreation Centre (SRC).
Two companies bid on the request for proposal for the new ice surfacer for the arenas, Industrial Machine Inc, offering a Zamboni Model 446, and Big Hill Services and Arena Supplies, offering an Olympia Millennium H.
Both offers came with a two-year warranty on parts and labour, with the Zamboni coming in at $98,685 and the Olympia at $106,978.
Even without the price difference, staff were leaning toward the Zamboni because the existing ice surfacer at the arena is also a Zamboni, which lends to an ease of use as staff already know how to operate and maintain the surfacer, as well as parts being interchangeable.
Council had set aside $130,000 in the 2016 capital budget for the purchase of the ice surfacer. The decision by council was unanimous.
Council had also set aside $140,000 to replace two aging HVAC units at the SRC this year, continuing the gradual replacement of units that has been ongoing for the past few years, as budget allowed.
Two bids were received, one from Keith’s Refrigeration at $49,750, and one from Action Plumbing for $48,660, both coming with a one year warranty on parts and labour.
Council questioned why the bids came so far under budget, and Penner answered that in the past years, replacing two units had been around the requested amount. He cited increased competition as a driving factor behind the lower price.
The staff recommendation was to choose Action Plumbing, which had the lowest bid, and council unanimously voted in favour.