Stettler County decided to offer a contract for demolition of the old Public Works building to the lowest offer received from a Request for Proposals, after a lengthy debate at their regular meeting Oct. 11. All councilors were present for the meeting.
The demolition of the old Public Works building was listed on the agenda under “New Business.” The agenda item stated staff recommended, “That the County of Stettler No. 6 award the contract for the demolition of the old Public Works shop located at 6602-44 Avenue, Stettler, Alberta, to Visco, Edmonton, Alberta in the amount of $48,500 + GST.
“The opportunity to quote was advertised on the Alberta Purchasing Connection website (APC), Stettler Independent, East Central Alberta Review and County website, with the following quote proposals received,” followed by a list of the responses, including the second lowest response at $55,000 from Wally’s Backhoe service of Stettler.
Councilor James Nibourg asked if Visco gave a list of references for their work. Public Works director Rick Green responded yes, Visco provided solid references.
Nibourg responded that information should have been included in the agenda package so councilors could consider it before voting.
Councilor Joe Gendre asked if council was obligated to accept the lowest quote. Green responded that no, they didn’t have to, but it was the lowest quote for the job. Other offers received in the RFP went as high as $175,000, over three times what Visco offered.
Councilor Dave Grover said he wasn’t convinced demolishing the old Public Works shop was the way to go. He said he felt the site should be sold as-is.
Nibourg responded that the lot’s new zoning through the Town of Stettler would very likely be residential or light commercial and the parcel wouldn’t be very attractive with that old shop on it.
Joe said the second bidder, Wally’s Backhoe, was local and he made a motion to offer the job to the local company for the offer Wally’s submitted.
CAO Tim Fox noted that the staff felt obligated to go for the lowest offer. Nibourg noted that both offers were below the $75,000 threshold.
Councilor Gregg Jackson asked if contractors stated what they planned to do with the waste removed from the site. Green stated Visco did, but not all offers included that information. Jackson stated plans for refuse would influence his vote.
Councilor Les Stulberg wondered why an RFP sent out and advertising paid for if it’s ignored. “What’s the point of going to tender if you’re going to give it to your favourite anyway?” asked Stulberg.
Reeve Wayne Nixon pointed out that Visco is an experienced company that specializes in demolition projects just like the Public Works one.
After a bit of a delay, Green had Visco’s proposal placed on-screen for councilors.
Grover pointed out that a certain company that recently did water work for the county had good references, “and that turned into a gong show.”
Councilors voted on Joe’s motion to offer the job to Wally’s and defeated it.
Councilor Ernie Gendre stated he’d been approached by people at the museum and others who inquired about using the old Public Works building as storage space.
Nibourg then moved that the project be offered to Visco and it was carried by a 5-2 vote.