Thursday, March 9, 2017

Council gives nod to northeastern BC firm for Shawatlan Raw Water Supply project

Richard Pucci, the city's Director of
Operations outlined his notes on
the contract award for the Shawatlans
Raw Water Supply project
City Council is moving forward with one of the much anticipated large infrastructure projects on their wish list for 2017.

Monday night, City Councillors approved the award of a contract for the Shawatlan Raw Water Supply project to Kledo Construction which is based in B.C.'s northeast.

At the Monday session, Operations Director Richard Pucci outlined the key elements of the project and what factors led to the decision to recommend Kledo to council over two other competing bids, both of which were from firms that currently operate on the North Coast.

The Kledo bid was received and the contract awarded with a dollar value of $6,929,214.24, Mr. Pucci noted that the Kedlo proposal was considered by City staff and their consulting engineer as the lowest and most capable bid.

We offered up some background on the contract recommendation and the financial notes that go with it as part of our preview on Monday.

Mr. Pucci's presentation to Council can be reviewed from the City's Video Archive, starting at the 32 minute point.

Some of the key talking points from Mr. Pucci's presentation included:

City Council has approved the expenditure for this project in the 2017 Capital budget and the Operations Department has worked with the finance department to reallocate approved funds within that existing budget to virtually eliminate the shortfall. 

We have also identified that there may be an opportunity to source gravel near the construction area on the Shawatlan side which could save up to 800,000 dollars, additionally we will continually work on cost saving opportunities with the associated contractor to lessen the shortfall.

In the follow up question period to the presentation from Mr. Pucci, Councillor Thorkelson expressed interest as to where Kledo was based out of and whether they had been appraised of some of the unique challenges of rock and muskeg that the Shawatlan project will feature.

Mr. Pucci, observed that they are based out of Fort St. John and that they are more than familiar with the type of land in question and that they have  toured the project site to gain a full understanding of what the project requires.

Councillor Cunningham had questions related to the bid process and what considerations that the city had included as part of the recommendation, asking as well if the company has any plans to hire local workers as part of the project.

Mr. Pucci  offered up a short review of the process and noted that the company had indicated that there would be a mix of people with the project, with Kledo bringing their own crew to town and looking at offsetting with local hires.

Councillor Mirau inquired as to how the city would reallocate any cost recovery from the potential of the gravel source that Mr. Pucci had mentioned.

Councillor Randhawa asked as to the timeline for the project and was advised that it's expected that the project would be completed by mid November.

The Shawatlan Water Supply project contract award is the second major infrastructure project to be announced by the City in recent weeks that will be going to an out of town firm.

In February, Mayor Lee Brain celebrated the award of a provincial highway project contract in Prince Rupert, with the province awarding the work to Peter's Brothers Construction, a firm that is based in Penticton.

Following the announcement of the province's contract award, the Mayor noted that the city was bundling with the province on that contract, tackling the Third Avenue work following the major job from the Civic Centre to the BC Ferry Terminal.

The City's water supply project, as well as the Third Avenue paving project are two of the three major projects identified by the City's Financial Officer on Monday as part of the city's capital spending plan for the year.

The third item on that list is further work on the expansion of the West Berm at the Landfill.

One additional item of note on the Shawatlan Water Supply project is that as it proceeds, the city will be shifting to deliver water to the community through its secondary water supply system as the work continues.

A larger overview of the back and forth from Council members and Mr. Pucci can be reviewed from our Council Timeline feature.

The Raw water project is the first phase of a three part process to replace, the City currently has two Grant funding requests submitted and anticipates hearing of the fate of those requests later this year.

For more background on the city's major infrastructure projects see our archive page here.

More notes on City Council discussions can be found on our Discussion archive page here.

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