A special meeting of North Battleford council was held Wednesday to award the Underground Pipes and Asphalt Replacement contract for 2021.
Council has voted to award the contract to K and S Asphalt for two years of UPAR work and for the operations capital project of pressure sustaining valve in the amount of $7,677,372, including GST and a 10 per cent contingency.
The resolution also included extending the design and construction management of two additional roadway projects on Railway Avenue East and Battleford Road with Urban Systems Ltd. for $30,000. The resolution passed unanimously.
K and S Asphalt was awarded the tender despite a higher $454,000 price tag than the rival bid from G and C Asphalt.
However, the assessment was done based on a “value-added” tendering approach. This is a new process where contracts are awarded on more than just pricing.
Included are evaluations of project and value assessment plans, previously applicable experience and interviews with the bidders.
K and S scored higher by 19 points in the assessment, winning the bid. The main difference, according to Director of Corporate Services Jennifer Niesink, was in the plans of the two bids. One plan went ”quite a bit further than expected” in the values they were looking for, she told council.
The move to a value-added assessment has been a trend seen with federal and provincial tenders as well. Kyle Colburn of Urban Systems explained at the meeting that this process has become widespread across western Canada, with a lot of municipalities implementing it. He explained municipalities can have “much more control over the value of the project” and it ultimately ends up costing clients less money, particularly when it comes to change orders and unforeseen circumstances.
The UPAR tender coveres a range of projects, including rehab of 102nd Street from Railway Avenue to 16th Street, Henderson Drive, Battleford Road, Railway Avenue East from Werb Street to 114th Steet, the pressure sustaining valve project and hydrant replacements.
However, these projects face some challenges in actually going ahead, one of which is supply.
Niesink told council that during initial meetings with the bidders, the city learned that piping was not available. There is a serious shortage of pipe, which Niesink said “put a risk to any of the work happening on 102nd (Street) this year.”
As a result, the proposal before council was to award the work for two years, with the work for 102nd Street happening in 2022 and the remaining projects happening in 2021 — supply dependant. That passed Wednesday afternoon.
Niesink also said the city has applied for a grant of $750,000 for the 102nd Street project and should it be awarded, a separate RFP will be undertaken.