Council awards paving contract for paving of South River Road

Centre Welling­ton council heard on Monday that work is to start imme­diately on the repaving of South River Road.

Council received a break in the expected cost, too, when the project came in nearly $53,000 under budget.

The total estimated cost of the work was $1,003,011 according to Treasurer Wes Snarr. Council had received a recent provincial grant of $875,000 and planned to top that up substantially to com­plete the work.

Instead, Capital Paving, of Guelph, had the low bid of $884,072.

Snarr said in his report the council is eligible to recover the $42,098 in GST costs. The estimated engineering costs are $101,000. The cost of a stone wall is $40,000, and there is another cost for speed moni­toring signs for $20,000.

The approved budget was $1,056,000.

In order to legally award the tender, council had to complete and adjourn its committee of the whole meeting, and recon­vene as a formal council, some­thing Mayor Joanne Ross-Zuj said had been formally an­nounced.

Councillor Bob Foster ask­ed when the work will start, and when will it be done.

Public Works Director Ken Elder said he hopes all the work will be done by Dec. 2 this year. If it is delayed by bad weather, some of the work will have to be completed next year, and the deadline for that date is June 12.

Councillors were smiling when Elder added that if there is a delay, the contractor will compete the work at the current contract price.

Councillor Walt Visser said the bids produced “a fine tender” but he is concerned be­cause the winning bid was Capital Paving, of Guelph. He pointed out The Murray Group was about $6,000 higher, and he said perhaps it is time to consider changing the township policy, because The Murray Group is a township operation and township taxpayer.

“We really should be trying to direct to local businesses,” Visser said.

But Mayor Joanne Ross-Zuj pointed out that is not the rules under which council operates. (Municipalities must have a very good reason to award a contract to a higher bidder. There are several instances where municipalities gave work to a local firm and found themselves the target of law­suits.)

Councillor Fred Morris ask­ed if the work includes paving the shoulders of the road. Area residents had concerns about the road and had been asking for bicycle lanes, but that proved to be impossible given the width of the road. Paved shoulders were a compromise.

Elder said that all the work that had been promised with the committee of the whole met earlier this month is included in the contract.