It’s a risk worth taking, determined Cache Creek Council, as they voted to go ahead with plans to pave Old Cariboo Road without knowing what the price will be.
It could be $100,000 or it could be $400,000. Initial talks with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) led Council to believe that they could select the contract for resurfacing Old Cariboo Road this summer – part of a larger paving project undertaken by the Ministry of Transportation and Intractructure (MOTI). However, they were told at the Feb. 10 Council meeting that the work cannot be separated from MOTI’s larger contract, and that the Ministry would do the selecting if the Village still wanted to proceed with the road resurfacing.
“That puts us in a bit or a bind,” said Village administrator Dan Plamondon. “There’s no guarantee that it will come in at $100,000 or less.”
Coun. Wyatt McMurray asked if the Village could give MOTI a maximum figure that Cache Creek would be willing to accept, but Plamondon said the Ministry is obligated to go with the lowest bidder, regardless of the price. Or they can cancel the project if the bids come in too high.
“I think it’s a calculated risk worth taking,” said Plamondon. “Chances are it will not exceed the pre-bid estimate” (of $100,000).
Coun. David Dubois asked about doing the project without MOTI. Plamondon said the Ministry indicated that they could do the job for about half the price. McMurray added that they would have to hire consultants and engineers on top of the paving crew if they were to tender the job separate from the Ministry’s work.
“If MOTI puts this out and it comes in four times higher, they’ll be saying no,” said McMurray.
Plamondon agreed, saying the price would be based on quantity of the resurfacing material, and the cost for the Village and the Ministry should be the same.
“We’ll trust our staff to keep us out of trouble,” said Mayor Ranta.
“I don’t think we can afford not to do it,” said Coun. Herb Hofer, a sentiment that echoed an earlier comment from Coun. McMurray.
Coun. Dubois voted against it.
The Ministry asked the Village to decide quickly so that it could post the bid this week.