Council approves low bid for parking lot construction

March 22, 2018   ·   0 Comments

Written By: Jasen Obermeyer

Orangeville council has approved a contract with Bennington Construction Ltd. of Stouffville for a parking lot at the northwest corner of Mill Street and Church Street.

The decision came at Monday’s (May 19) council meeting. The amount is $56,311.29, $1,023.50 less than the second lowest bidder, Orangeville-based Allto Construction Services. Council originally allocated $75,000 for the parking lot construction in the 2017 capital budget. The 32-space parking lot was originally discussed last year after the Downtown Parking Study deemed there was enough parking to meet a sufficient amount of demand in Orangeville.

Although the original motion was to approve Bennington Construction, it was met with numerous exchanges amongst councillors.

Nick Garisto suggested the Town should hire Allto, because even though they cost more, it was very little money, but his motivation stemmed mainly from the company being located in Orangeville. “They’ve been in town for a long time, they pay taxes to the town. It’s only a minor difference here.”

He added that local businesses should be given a “top priority consideration,” especially when given the small cost difference. When Councillor Garisto asked Doug Jones, the town’s director of public woks, if the town has worked with Bennington Construction before, Mr. Jones replied they have, and cultivated “a good working relationship.”

Councillor Gail Campbell originally agreed with Councillor Garisto, saying the difference in cost is “almost non-existent.”

Councillor Sylvia Bradley suggested adding more greenery and signs in the area would make it “much more welcoming,” and would “look much better for the residents in the area.”

Mayor Jeremy Williams agreed. “I don’t want just another paved over ugly lot. I want to see something attractive.”

However, Deputy Mayor Warren Maycock reminded council they have a policy to take the lowest tender bidder, and can possibly be sued if they don’t.

“It would be a mistake to accept Allto’s bid,” agreed Councillor Scott Wilson, who was adamant that the Bennington bid should be accepted. “We would be putting our credibility at risk by accepting something other than the low bid.”

Councillor Bradley advised council to think carefully on the matter, and though she said Allto would do a great job, “we either have a policy or we don’t.”

After a continuous debate that saw several motions being put forward, motions retracted, and revisions to the bylaw, council eventually unanimously approved the Bennington bid. Mr. Jones told the Citizen after the meeting that it’s unknown when construction will start, as it depends not only on the availability of the contractor, but what the weather is like in the near future.

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