Building washroom for Earl Baker Park goes ahead…barely

Excavation has started in Earl Baker Park for the services for a splash pad and washroom. Council approved both contracts June 16, 2015. The washroom contract narrowly avoided a delay after a questionable answer on a lone bid contract. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

MORRISBURG – Construction of a new washroom in Earl Baker Park will be going ahead, despite narrowing avoiding a council-imposed delay.

South Dundas council voted 3-2 Tuesday night to give the contract to the sole bidder – Wells and Son Construction of Morrisburg – for $48,790 plus HST.

Coun. Bill Ewing and Mayor Evonne Delegarde voted down the contract.

It was the only bid received by the municipality despite eight expressions of interest.

But some councillors were concerned because the bidder had put a question mark instead of answering “yes” or “no” whether the July 31 deadline could be met to build the facility.

“I don’t think anybody else is going to come back in (to bid) because nobody else has put in a proposal,” CAO Stephen McDonald told council.

“If we award the tender and tell Mr. Wells that he got it, here’s the contract, you’re subject to a $500 penalty clause per day and he says ‘no’ then we go back to square one and retender,” McDonald said.

“I think we better run with this,” Coun. Archie Mellan added.

Coun. Marc St. Pierre, a waterfront committee member, was hesitant to agree with the contract. “I’d like to ask the question…if you can’t make it (the deadline) why? Is it because of materials that he can’t get it delivered on time? I don’t know,” the councillor said.

CAO McDonald comforted St. Pierre’s concern saying the washroom is design-built with “very general specifications” so the contractor tells the municipality how he’s going to build it.

Mayor Evonne Delegarde was wondering if the short timeline was the reason the municipality only received one bid.

“What’s happening with our bids is they’re going on websites (contracting websites that troll the municipal website), we’re getting calls from Hamilton, North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, London, who want to bid on a $40,000 washroom,” CAO McDonald explained.

“I don’t know if I want to just jump into something and taking the chance…I’d rather not support this and make sure we’re doing it right,” Mayor Delegarde stated.

The three-season, three-room washroom will be roughly 150 square feet and have his and hers facilities plus a service room.

South Dundas council also approved a $35,000 contract for the excavation and adding of the services for the splash pad.

The municipality already had $25,000 set aside last year for the project and an additional $10,000 will come from its park reserve fund.

The work by Ken Miller Excavating of Brockville already started a couple days ago said Public Works Manager Chris Bazinet.

The splash pad construction is grass-roots funded by a volunteer group.

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