District of Clearwater now has a new parks maintenance contractor.
During their meeting held Feb. 2, town council members decided to award the community parks and open space contract for 2016-2018 to Mac River Enterprises.
Cost of the contract will be $60,500 for 2016, with an annual maximum increase of 7.5 per cent in each of 2017 and 2018, to be negotiated at the end of each season.
Chief administrative officer Leslie Groulx left the room during the discussion as she is related to Mac River’s owner, Clyde MacLennan. She played no role in the selection process, said director of finance Wesley Renaud.
Renaud was assisted in the process by Sherri Madden, services coordinator for the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.
The need for a new contractor arose because of Doug Hindle, the retirement of the District’s longtime contractor at the end of the 2015 season, Renaud explained.
Three applications were received to the request for proposals. One was deemed incomplete, leaving two to be evaluated: Mac River Enterprises and Rooted by the River.
Both applicants submitted strong packages that not only met the requirements of the RFP but exceeded them, the director of finance said.
He gave as examples Mac River’s including danger tree assessments and hiring local youth in its proposal. Rooted by the River’s proposal suggested options for mulching that would reduce water use, building natural playgrounds and using sheep or goats to maintain some sections of local parks.
Mac River scored slightly higher than Rooted by the River in an evaluation of the two packages.
Mac River’s quoted price of $60,500 was lower than Rooted by the River’s of $76,620.
Renaud noted that CUPE was given the opportunity to provide a business case to take on community parks but, after consideration, the union declined.
There was some discussion by council about Mac River’s proposed annual increase of up to 7.5 per cent, compared to Rooted by the River’s two per cent.
However, Renaud said the amount of the increase would be negotiated each year and would be based on deliverables.
Even if Mac River got the full 7.5 per cent increase for 2017 and 2018, the total contract price still would be less than if Rooted by the River had got the contract.