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Single bid on water tower build

UPDATE MARCH 8: The contract to Landmark Structures was approved, as was the contract for the Wellington water treatment plant environmental assessments.

Artistic rendering of the new tank at Belleville Street looking north

Council will examine a $9,002,000 cost for the construction of Wellington’s water storage tank and bulk water filling station – over budget by $992,772.

For Tuesday night’s council meeting, a staff report recommends a contract be awarded to the sole bidder, Landmark Structures Co. Garrett Osborne, project manager, notes in his report to council that the number of companies that construct these tanks is limited, so a single bid was not unexpected.

In response to concern about low water pressure and the ability to handle future development, capital work reports were brought to council in 2019 for discussion. In the 20-year plan, the cost for water system improvements were estimated at $10-15 million – those costs were expected to be higher now mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain costs. The 1960s water system in Wellington has been modified over the years.

The request for tender in February was initially received at $10,070,000 but was revised with the bidder with alternate construction methods and efficiencies to reduce the cost but the bid remains at $992,772.15 over budget when combined with non-construction costs and a construction contingency. The RFT also included supply and installation of a permanent bulk water filling station. The tender price of $284,600 plus HST was within the available separate capital budget allocated for the project.

Construction of the new water tower and bulk water filling station is to begin in spring and be substantially completed by May 2023.

The County has adopted an area specific development charge for the Wellington urban serviced area. The construction of a new water tower was identified in the background study and 62 per cent of the total project cost or $6,311,270.25 is to be recovered through development charges.

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) in conjunction with the Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS) recommend water distribution system pressures do not drop below 40psi and do not exceed 100psi in a water distribution system. Currently, some areas in Wellington experience pressures below the recommended minimum of 40psi. Once the new water tower is brought into operation water pressures within the existing urban area and development lands north of the Millennium Trail are to range from approximately 50 to 80psi. The proposed trunk watermain is required in
addition to the new water tower to service the lands north of the Millennium Trail.

The municipality held an online information session about the project earlier this month. The report notes seven questions were received ranging from working hours and dust control to landscape plans and decommissioning of the existing water tower.

Council would decide at a later date about the removal of the existing tower.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, council is being asked to award a $402,868 contract covering three related environmental assessments for the Wellington water and wastewater treatment plants and regional water supply class to CIMA Canada Inc., one of three bidders.




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  1. Dennis Fox says:

    Chuck – If what you say is true – then all the more reason why you should support my position on the need for more than one bid on a $10 million project. Right?

  2. Chuck says:

    You aren’t paying a cent towards this. That’s what is wrong with water & wastewater rates and improvements on the backs of the Urban. Everyone gains from growth but only Urbans pay. Great deal for rural folks.

  3. Dennis Fox says:

    If for no other reason, receiving only one bid should sound the alarms for Council. This is a good project for any construction company. Having only one bidder could signal that there was a problem in the advertising of the project, a problem with the specs or other concerns that need to be looked at again. There is no way that a $10 MILLION project should be granted without competition. Most of the time the company that makes the storage tanks is not the same company that construct the tower.

    If this tower was to begin this spring, why was it left until February before the tender was issued? The article (above) indicates a time line for construction – but that is all it is, a time line. This community cannot afford a process that could cost us more in the long run – retender the project and set our own time frame, as to when the project can be done.

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