Contractors, sub-contractors, and tradespeople were invited to a special presentation, yesterday, from Manasc Isaac, the architecture firm that is designing Bonnyville’s new town hall. The presented was well attended with approximately 40 contractors and tradespeople in attendance, 90 percent of whom were local companies. Bonnyville Council says they hosted the presentation with the hope of stirring interest locally and giving the local companies the advance of seeing the project early, so come bid time the companies can make a more educated bid.
“About 90 percent of the companies were local,” Councillor John Irwin says there was one company from Lloydminster and one from Edmonton. Irwin explains they absolutely want to use a local company. Councillor Ray Prevost added that now is the time to build, when the economy is low. “There are more trades people available, which keeps the bids low,” the more companies bidding on the project, the more competitive the price will be.
There are certain rules Council must follow in regards to awarding bids; they cannot simply pick a local company. The Town must abide by TILMA, the Trade, Investment, and Labour Mobility Agreement, but there may be ways to include more local work. The problem with just extending the percentage of cost difference from ten percent to a larger number like 15 percent, is that as the project cost goes up, so does the number within the percentage. For example, 15 percent of $6,000 is only $900, but the same percent in $600,000 is $90,000 which makes for a large amount of money to swallow. There has been talks at Town Council to amen this policy and a recommendation for changes is expected in April.
Manasc Isaac is also committed to using as much Canadian sourced and manufactured product as possible, such as lumber. The company admits there are some materials they will have to go state-side; such as light fixtures, which Canada is not known for manufacturing. For the most part, Manasc Isaac says they will help keep costs down by shopping in Canada.
If you’re a contractor, sub-contractor or tradesperson and were unable to attend the open house, or just would like more information, you can head online to manascisaac.com.