Council picks Burnaby company over Fort St. John company for new spray park

A visualization of the spray park's concept.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A purely price based process for awarding city construction contracts is now being questioned by those who believe it may be time for Fort St. John to follow other jurisdictions in the country, which have moved to a model that includes both price and other qualifications.

The issue has surfaced again after city council received two Rotary Spray Park tenders more than $100,000 over the budgeted amount of $611,000.

The two bids were about $65,000 apart, and council decided that was a significant enough amount, to authorize staff to enter into cost savings negotiations with only the lowest bidder, TGK Irrigation Ltd. of Burnaby, eliminating Fort St. John’s Kalmar Construction from the process.  Council could have changed the scope of the project and sent it out for tender again, but instead decided to negotiate with only the low bidder to try and bring the project in under the budgeted amount.

Not only did that raise local hiring concerns at a time of high local area unemployment, but it also raised questions about the fairness of the process.

Aaron Henry is Vice-President of Kalmar Construction….

Councillor Byron Stewart also believes the project should have been re-issued for tender and he also intends to explore the possibility of moving forward with changes to the cities tendering process.

Below you can listen to the entire debate during the June 13, 2016 Council Meeting (video was not available from this meeting).

Below is a copy of the report provided to Council from City Staff.