By Cole Parkinson
After many months of nailing down the Vauxhall Rest Area plan, the project finally has a contractor lined up to do the work.
During Municipal District of Taber council’s regular meeting on June 9, councillors were updated on the project which was put out to tender.
“The tender is closed and it is here for awarding. The lowest tender price did actually fall within our budget,” explained CAO Arlos Crofts.
“The best location was found to be just outside the Town of Vauxhall on land owned by the M.D. of Taber directly adjacent to Highway 36,” reads administration’s report. “Alberta Transportation and the M.D. of Taber agreed on a cost-share agreement where the Province would contribute the first $1.5 million to the project with the M.D.’s share being $500,000 based on an engineer’s cost estimate. Along with this, the M.D. is to contribute the land, pay sub division costs and legal survey for the project including a larger parking lot area and the two lots to be available for sale upon completion of the project. Council approved an additional $400,000 based on the engineer’s estimate prior to tendering of the project.”
Tender bids came from East Butte Contracting ($1,808,297.80), Brooks Asphalt and Aggregate ($1,854,347.42), DeGraaf Excavating ($2,029,506.75), McNally Contractors ($2,079,262.65), Tollestrup Construction ($2,407,409.22) and Aecon Transportation West ($2,432,954). With the lowest bid coming from East Butte Contracting, administration explained previous work the group had done in and around the M.D.
“They are more of a construction-type company. I believe they did work on the walking trail for the M.D. in the north end of town. They are going to be subbing out the paving portion of the project and that is the big portion of it,” said Jack Dunsmore, M.D. project manager contractor, who also stated the tender document shows completion of the project for Oct. 31. “With the sub they have for paving, I’m comfortable with that.”
With three tender documents in front of council at the June 9 meeting, all of which have completion dates of Oct. 31, council had questions if all three projects were doable in the timeframe.
“Does our admin team feel we have the resources to execute these projects? Second question — at one point we talked about where the current trucks that are parked on the site were going to go. Have we had conversations with the Town of Vauxhall for alternative parking?” asked Coun. Tamara Miyanaga.
Administration replied stating they were confident that all projects could be completed by the end of October.
“With regard to our resource compliment to execute the projects, it is our goal to get these projects done by that date of October 31,” stated Crofts.
As far as the second question posed by Coun. Miyanaga, administration stated they would reach out to the Town of Vauxhall about the issue of where trucks can park.
“We had a pre-tender meeting out on-site and at that time it was discussed that where the trucks are parking now would probably be the laydown area for the contractor on-site. Until it is confirmed the project is a go, and at that time if you want I can have a chat with Cris Burns (Vauxhall CAO) and let him know what’s going on,” added Dunsmore.
“I’m not sure how many trucks park there overnight but there is a number of them and they’ve got to find somewhere else, most likely somewhere within the community of Vauxhall, to park their trucks overnight,” said Reeve Merrill Harris.
There may also be the option for the trucks to continue parking where they currently are.
Administration explained there may still be enough space in the area even with construction equipment for trucks to get off the road and park.
“There may not be that much equipment in the laydown area so there may still be some places available to park. I’ve seen as many as five or six parked there,” continued Dunsmore.
A motion to approve the lowest tender price of $1,808,297.80 as submitted by East Butte Contracting Ltd. for the Vauxhall Rest Area Project was carried.