Town of Stettler balks at contractor’s quoted price doubling

Written by Stu Salkeld

The Town of Stettler cancelled a tender it had planned for the municipal water reservoir after a series of events led the contractor to double the price originally tendered apparently due to the inflation problem.

Town council cancelled the tender at the June 7 regular council meeting.

Director of Operations Melissa Robbins gave councillors a report on a situation she stated doesn’t happen very often.

“Approved 2021 capital budget is $50,000 to paint the exterior of the water reservoir,” stated Robbins in her report to council.

“September of 2021, town council awarded the request for quotation (RFQ) to AlumaSafway Inc. in the amount of $41,173.15. Scheduling issues arose and the contractor was not able to complete the work before the outside temperatures dropped and hoarding would have been required and was not included in the work.

“The decision to delay the work to summer of 2022 was agreed to between AlumaSafway and the town.

“May 2022, AlumaSafway requested an approved expenditure for product prices increases, which the terms of the quotation allows. The revised quote is $98,000 to $105,000.

Administration has been unsuccessful negotiating a reasonable price increase to complete the work and therefore is recommending cancelling the RFQ award to AlumaSafway and sending the project out for new quotations. AlumaSafway Inc. agrees to these terms.”

During discussion Robbins stated she understands the price pressures companies are under right now yet she was not able to come to an agreement with AlumaSafway.

“Administration respectfully recommends that Town of Stettler council cancel the RFQ award of the water reservoir painting previously awarded to AlumaSafway Inc. and directs administration to send the project out for new quotations,” stated Robbins’ report.

Coun. Wayne Smith stated he couldn’t believe how much more the proposal was being boosted and felt the tender should be closer to $50,000.

Again, Robbins pointed out the construction industry is under a lot of inflationary pressures right now.

Mayor Sean Nolls responded though that inflation hasn’t climbed by 110 per cent.

Councillors unanimously approved by resolution to cancel the tender previously awarded to AlumaSafway and send the project out for new offers.

Senior’s housing issue
During the council committee reports part of the agenda Coun. Travis Randell reported on a recent Stettler Housing Authority meeting he attended. Randell reported the housing authority facilities in Stettler currently have 63 vacancies, which essentially means one entire facility is empty.

Randell reported the housing authority feels this is the result of a lot of move-outs and a lot of restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. He stated the housing authority hopes that the move-outs have levelled off.

However, one point of concern he reported is that the housing authority receives some provincial funding which helps offset the vacancy problem, but if anything happens to that funding an even bigger problem could surface.

Mayor Nolls stated the isolation from the public is the biggest hurdle to the housing authority filling its vacancies. The mayor noted that it’s not just Stettler Housing Authority which is having this problem, it’s all across the province.

Randell added that the housing authority feels getting those vacancies filled is going to be a big job.

Dry as a bone
Coun. Kyle Baker reported that during one of his recent committee meetings he read information from the provincial government stating 2021 was one of the driest years on record, adding that records have been kept since 1960.

Baker added that 2021 was the driest year on record for the Stettler region according to these sources.

Population complication
Coun. Gord Lawlor reported on a recent public library board meeting he attended, and the issue of census and population came up. He reported the library boards have been concerned about how Alberta Municipal Affairs is calculating population numbers for communities, which can affect the funding for library boards which requisition funds based on community population.

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.