Smiths Falls council rejected the sole bid received from the Ottawa Greenbelt Construction company was for the amount of $9.5 million. Both council and town works Director Troy Dunlop were disappointed with the Beckwith Street tender results of phase one.
Council was surprised with the lack of competitive bids when tender closed on April 11. The gap was significant as the town’s budget was only $5.7 million.
However, council is looking towards the next phase of the project as it was announced on Thursday, April 18 that the connecting link program would be continuing in 2019. Council has until May 31 to apply for funding for the Beckwith complete streets project.
Connecting link only covers road-based projects. Town staff plans to use the OCIF Top Up funding grant of $933,000 for the cost of fixing the Beckwith Street storm sewers.
CAO Malcolm Morris will be bringing forward a path for Beckwith and council will decide if they will apply for funding within that window of time.
“They’re going to make a decision in June and funding in place for July,” CAO Morris said.
Town staff recommended that council reject the big from Ottawa Greenbelt.
“We are paying a premium for the added features of new fencing and traffic management,” Director Dunlop said. “Market capacity came into play for the estimate being so far off the bid price.”
The uncharacteristically high unit prices and the bid price could be an indication of current market trends in Eastern Ontario.
Council is still split on how to move forward and if holding a public meeting is in the best interest of the town. Both Councillor Brennan and Councillor Dwyer are adamant on holding a meeting.
“Now that we have a pause, I look at it as an opportunity to listen to everybody,” Councillor Brennan said.