Council waives procurement policy to expedite purchase of water tanker

Council here has agreed to waive its procurement policy to expedite the purchase of a new water tanker from a local supplier.

At the April 14 meeting, council agreed to a staff recommendation to purchase a tanker from Husky Farm Equipment for $17,143.

In a report to council, public works director Brad McRoberts explained the purchase was well within the $40,000 allocation for a new tanker in the 2015 budget.

 McRoberts told council the tanker was “a fairly specific custom-made piece of equipment,” which could most readily be acquired from the local supplier.

“The price is quite reasonable and well below our budget, I understand if its approved tonight it could be ready by the middle of May,” he said.

In his report, McRoberts explained the tanker is needed as soon as possible “due to the intensity of the spring gravel maintenance activities.”

Councillor Lori Woodham said she was uncomfortable waiving the purchasing policy and making a single-source quote public.

“I believe in our procurement policy and I’m glad we have it in place,” said Woodham. “I understand this is time-sensitive, but I feel that when a quote is also submitted that my hands are tied now and I feel that I have no choice but to accept it.”

Woodham said she would prefer a request to waive the procurement policy be approved by council before any quotes are presented, in order to preserve the fairness of the process if council opts to go to tender.

“I think sometimes we will have to use common sense,” said McRoberts. “It’s local, it provides a good price – I think it provides everything we’re trying to do with the intent of our procurement policy.”

The resolution to waive the policy and purchase the tanker passed with all councillors voting in favour.

Mayor Neil Driscoll declared a conflict of interest and did not participate in the discussion or the vote because his wife is employed by Husky Farm Equipment.