Procurement policy allows town to seek marina roof contractor

Shutterstock

GORE BAY—Gore Bay town council had a very difficult decision to make this past Monday. At the current time, the town’s marina roof needs to be fixed as it is leaking. Council had put out tenders for a contractor to carry out repairs on the roof (as well as for the roof on Buoy’s restaurant—a building the town owns), but had no bids come in. 

Town CAO Stasia Carr pointed out there was a mandatory site visit held last Wednesday for anyone who had put in a bid for the tender. However, no one showed up. “And the deadline for tenders for the contract closed today and we had no one put in a bid.” She pointed out seven companies had been advised that the tender would be advertised and again, there was no response.  

“So can we go with contacting a particular company that we know might be interested but didn’t put a tender in to provide a quote?” asked Mayor Dan Osborne. He pointed out a local  company had expressed interest last fall. 

Ms. Carr said the company in question didn’t have insurance.

“So do we go out and advertise again, or ask someone (a company) to provide us a price (quote)?” asked Mayor Osborne. 

Ms. Carr said that the town will have to advertise again for bids.

“This is why municipalities go broke,” stated Councillor Kevin Woestenenk. “It drives me bananas how the procurement process works. It keeps municipalities’, especially small municipalities’, hands tied.”

Ms. Carr agreed it is a frustrating process but one that municipalities must follow. 

“There was a group last fall that was interested in doing this work. Can we not pay their insurance costs and get them to do the work?” asked Councillor Ken Blodgett, who pointed out there is a need for the roof at the marina to be fixed. 

Councillor Woestenenk said the town could get its own public works staff to do the work.

“I agree, we should do that for this situation,” said Councillor Blodgett.

However, Councillor Jack Clark said, “to throw out the procurement policy doesn’t make sense in this case.” 

“It’s not working for the town,” said Councillor Woestenenk. “The procurement rules are not working for a small municipality like ours.”

Councillor Blodgett explained, “we have a roof that is letting in lots of water. It is necessary this work gets done immediately.” 

“We have to follow the rules and policy in place,” said Mayor Osborne. “Any grants we received to get the roof fixed, we wouldn’t get in the future if we don’t follow the (procurement) policy. And we would probably jeopardize any future grants for projects if we don’t follow the rules.”  

“You (town council) have policies in place that have to be followed,” said Ms. Carr. She explained there is a clause in the town’s procurement policy that if it is deemed to be in the best interest of the municipality, the municipality could award a tender contract to a company that it contacts for a bid.

After further discussion, council passed a resolution that states in part, “whereas a roof tender was advertised and closed as of May 10; and whereas no proposals were submitted to the town in response to the tender; and whereas the town has deemed the repairs as time critical as the marina roof is leaking. Therefore, be it resolved that the CAO follow the procurement policy for single source procurement as it has been deemed to be in the best interest of the municipality considering the shortage of services provided based on response received on the advertised tender.”

Ms. Carr told the Recorder after the meeting she will be contacting several companies to hopefully garner quotes on the work that needs to be carried out.