Rossland council’s plans to upgrade Rossglen Park and Harry Lefevre Square were put on hold at its Sept. 20 meeting.
At staff’s recommendation, council rejected the only two bids from Hiltech Contracting, which came in well above the budgeted costs.
“At the regional district we’ve had the same recently,” said Coun. Andy Morel. “Bids that are sky high and I know they have lots of work obviously, that’s why those tenders are really high.”
The city received grants for both projects, including $130,280 from Columbia Basin Trust for Rossglen Park, and over $227,000 for Lefevre Square from a Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) grant and the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP).
The planned upgrades to Rossglen Park would see a new gazebo as well as other improvements, while the square entails the construction of an outdoor public washroom.
The city’s estimated budget for Rossglen Park improvements was just over $180,000, but Hiltech’s proposal came in at $258,495.
“Given that this proposal exceeds the budgeted amount for the project by $78K and the project is not categorized as critical within the City’s Asset Management Investment Plan, City Staff recommend that the proposal be rejected and other options be explored in 2023,” read the staff report.
For Harry Lefevre Square, Hiltech’s bid of $276,930 (not including GST) was $117,000 over the city’s budget, given the city has already spent over $67,000 on engineering and design services.
The requests for proposal (RFP) were issued on Aug. 17 with a deadline of Aug. 31. According to the report, an extension request was granted and the deadline was moved to Sept. 12. Still, the city only received bids from Hiltech.
Mayor Kathy Moore was disappointed in having to review and reject the proposals, suggesting it was self-inflicted due to the late release of the RFPs.
“It’s not self-inflicted,” Chief Administrative Officer, Bryan Teasdale replied. “We keep on saying we have limited capacity, then we keep on getting grants, and keep on getting work on our shelves.”
The city’s engineering consultant noted in the report that delaying the Lefevre square project and reissuing the RFP in late 2022 will allow for a more competitive bidding process and extend the construction completion date. It will also allow staff time to pursue additional funding prospects.