Local company wins fierce competition for town contract

Competition for the $200,000 storm sewer improvement project was fierce, with 14 different companies submitting tenders to the town.

Competition for the $200,000 57 Street storm sewer improvement project was fierce, with 14 different companies submitting tenders to the town, council heard at its Tuesday, April 5 meeting.

The winning bid, by Wally’s Backhoe Services, came in at $292,877.96.

Town CAO Greg Switenky presented the report, which indicated the project, which is funded from the 2016 Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grant funding, would cover the improvements to the storm sewer system as well as the repairs of road, sidewalk and pathways.

While originally budgeted for $200,000, logistical difficulties required the town to move the location of the storm sewer, which increased the cost by roughly $100,000. The extra money was found in budgets for pathway system improvements, pavement patching programs and leftover 2015 MSI funds.

The section being improved stretches from the south side of Highway 12, across the Highway and up to the tennis courts.

Due to the complexity of the project, which will include shutting down Highway 12 for a couple of days and managing detours, the town graded each applicant out of 100, based on experience and submitted tenders.

Any company with a score higher than 80 would be deemed acceptable, Melissa Robbins, director of operations, explained to council.

The three lowest bids came in from Wally’s Backhoe Services of Stettler, Carbon Earthworks of Red Deer, and Urban Dirtworks of Sylvan Lake.

Other Stettler-area companies that did not make the top-three cut include Action Plumbing of Stettler and Cat Bros. of Alix. The remaining companies included Pearl Rose, LCBO Contracting, Foran Equipment, TBL Construction, Graysons Excavating, Northside Construction, AIC Construction, Western Civil Construction and Incline Contracting.

Carbon Earthworks was eliminated from the running with a score of 64. While the company had experience with new construction, it did not have experience with replacing pre-existing construction, which gave it a lower score, Switenky explained to council.

That left Wally’s Backhoe Services with a bid of $200,177.96 and Urban Dirtworks with a bid of $237,181.71.

The remaining bids ranged up to $464,405.90.

Tagish Engineering of Red Deer will provide engineering services with a cost of up to $92,700 on the project.

Sharp-eyed councillors noticed a mathematical discrepancy in the package, as math for the Urban Dirtworks project didn’t add up. A re-examination of the numbers revealed that GST had been added to the Urban Dirtworks project, and the number was corrected.

With the Tagish Engineering cost factored in, the total cost for Wally’s Backhoe Services was $292,877.96, and for Urban Dirtworks was $300,681.71.

Town staff recommended Wally’s Backhoe Services, as the small variance in score 81 to Urban Dirtwork’s 84 was negligible, the cost was lower and the company was local. Council voted unanimously in support of the recommendation by staff.