The City of Lacombe Council recently awarded a $720,140 project to Scott Builders after they were the only company to bid on the needed improvements to the Curling Rink and the City’s Infrastructure Services Building.
The project includes a $168,214 expansion to the Infrastructure Services Buildings’s washrooms, $150,625 to replace the Infrastructure Services Building’s roof, $366,301 to replace the roof to the curling rink and $35,000 in contingency funds.
Typically, a project of this size will see more competitive bids from the market — however the City of Lacombe was short-staffed throughout the winter due to the outgoing CAO and the hiring process to replace him.
Winter is also typically the best time to tender construction projects in terms of pricing.
“We have struggled a bit to get our tenders out,” CAO Matthew Goudy said.
“Usually we are well ahead of the market getting our work out. In the interest of timeliness, we did bundle these together. The two projects at the one location were a natural fit for accommodation.
“When we had the failure of the Curling Rink roof it become apparent we had to replace that as well. We said we already have roof work in the plan for the City so why don’t we have this project in as well?”
He added they were surprised and disappointed that more bids did not come forward.
“We are a good client to work with and we usually have pretty competitive bids from the industry. In this particular instance, I am not sure what all the factors are but they have unfortunately led to us only getting one bid,” Goudy said.
A new Infrastructure Services building was previously in the City’s Capital Plan, but has since been removed.
This means that patching leaks in the building was no longer a workable solution and the roof needs to be replaced.
The Curling Rink roof replacement is the result of unseen damage, which is the result of the ‘catastrophic’ hail storm in 2015, according to Goudy.
“The frustration that Council is having there is that we have insurance, and we had hail damage that resulted in the replacement of adjacent roofs,” Goudy said. “Our staff at the time also felt how can those roofs be damaged but not this one, but no damage was apparent at the time.
“We did have a couple different inspections by both our staff, an adjuster and a certified roofing inspector as well who all noted no visible damage.”
Thirty-one per cent of the replacement is being funded through a partnership with Lacombe County and City staff is disappointed that unseen damage is now causing problems.
The City is also working with their insurer to see if part of the cost can be recovered.
”Certainly we are disappointed that there is now visible damage and we are working with our insurer to see if we can get part of the cost covered.
“We have had a great relationship with our insurer over the years and I expect they will work with us on this as well. We will look at other avenues if we aren’t successful here but I am optimistic that we will be able to recover some of that cost,” Goudy said.
He added the City, in the future, will seek third-party inspections when dealing with high-value assets.