Contractor needs to stand by their bids

Writer questions why Cache Creek would agree to pay contractor more in the middle of a project.

Dear Editor

I don’t know what kind of fisherman Mayor Ranta is, but he sure can reel in the council and put taxpayers on the hook with the skill that seems to come from years of experience.

The letter from the consultant says several key things: “It is my error… original budget was $100,236”; then “We have about $7,000 in work to do because of the spring delay”. She says “That was no one’s fault by my own.” It concludes “We really appreciate the village’s business and so will work with the village to complete the job, regardless of the outcome of our request.”

Clearly there was room here to split the cost if Council wished, or to save the money for another use – and ensure that future contractors bid much more accurately, with a margin for error!

Lacking any policy that would guide what happens when a competitive bidder suddenly requests a 10 per cent increase in the fee, council chose to follow the staff recommendation – just because the prject is under budget. Why is that a good reason to overspend>

Again, a request for decision comes to council and they react immediately, without getting more information or taking the time to consider carefully the impact – why should bidders not be responsible for their errors? Since the work won’t happen till spring, why not take some time to review the situation?

Finally, it just makes me feel ill to know that $10,000 is about half the cost of the Cache Creek annual share of the bus service that was cancelled. So Mr. Ranta says “I’m not that mean-spirited” about holding a professional, well-paid contractor to their bid, but has no problem at all leaving people who can’t drive, don’t have a car, aren’t comfortable driving in all weather, etc. – to hitchhike or beg rides from friends and family, or use a service provided by volunteers to get to medical appointments, get groceries and prescriptions, get to the government assistance offices.

Please, please mayor and council – start the coming term of office off in January with a commitment to stop making rushed decisions, set up some policies that can guide you rather than letting each situation be decided by the seat of your pants, and get some perspective about the social needs of your community and whether their cost is really too much for us to handle

Margaret Durnin

Cache Creek

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