Mapleton Council awards tender for local drain improvement project

MAPLETON – Council awarded a tender to upgrade  a municipal drain south of Moorefield to Marquardt Farm Drainage on Sept. 10.

The Marquardt bid of $452,141 (including HST) was the lower of two bids; the other was $557,598.

The drain work will include the installation of 2,658 metres of closed drain, six road crossings, 21 catch basins and 376 metres of open drain cleanout.

The municipal drainage system, situated south of Moorefield, was installed in 1962 by Wright and Stanners.

Council approved the repair and expansion of a municipal drain in August.

“The bidder, Marquardt Farm Drainage Ltd. have considerable experience in the installation of municipal tile drains under the Drainage Act,” states a report by director of public works Sam Mattina.

An engineer’s estimate, also provided in the report, was on par with the Marquardt bid at $452,000.

“I wanted to point out the close proximity of the engineers’ estimate to the total bid – that’s pretty remarkable,” said councillor Paul Douglas, a civil engineering technologist. “It’s a good quality estimate.”

Marquardt Farm Drainage expects to start work in mid June 2020 and complete the project in mid August.

Surplus lands

Council has decided it will accept no less than $230,000 for 3.05 acres of surplus township land on Wellington Road 11 and Concession 12 in Alma.

The surplus lands are available for public purchase. Ahead of the meeting a professional appraiser conducted a property analysis and estimated the property’s value at $250,000.

A further $10,000 was estimated to cover the cost of the appraiser, advertising of the lands, and legal expenses.

Mayor Gregg Davidson focused council’s Sept. 10 discussion on determining a base price.

“I am just going to throw  it out there that we’ll start out with an acceptance of no less than $230,000 for this property and we will start the discussions at that point,” he said.

Councillor Michael Martin asked how the process would differ from using a realtor.

“What does a public tender process look like versus listing with a realtor and why the decision to go without one?” he asked.

“Obviously we respect the ratepayers’ money and we feel we have the expertise internally to handle this and we won’t have to pay commission. We just want to make sure that we take full advantage of every dollar,” said CAO Manny Baron.

Councillor Dennis Craven asked whether there would be any benefit to splitting up the property and selling different portions.

“Subdividing it would be an extra expense on our account,” said Davidson.

Net proceeds from the sale will be transferred into townships reserves to help fund various capital projects at a future time.

“I get that we have an appraisal on it; what’s the benefit of establishing a minimum? Should we consider just taking the very best offer?” asked Martin.

“As I look at it, if we put the minimum value at say $230,000, again that’s up for discussion, and we don’t get any bids on this then we still have the opportunity to go the real estate agent way to try to get that,” said Davidson.

Councillor Marlene Ottens said, “My thought about the minimum is also to relay to the taxpayers that we want to get the best price for them. We are not doing it for us we are doing it for them so if we establish a minimum, it’s in their best interest.”

Council agreed to place the minimum price at $230,000 and voted in favour of declaring the subject lands surplus (by bylaw at a future meeting) and to sell the lands through public tender.