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Thursday , 21 October 2021

Letter to the editor: I am getting screwed on a MD funded project

Dear Lakeland Connect

My name is Shane Morton, we spoke the other day about the Municipal District of Bonnyville (MD) fire halls. I am the owner of Rydayce Construction, we are a local company based out of LaCorey.

I started the company in 2005 and specialize in civil earthwork, which includes: Site work, water and sewer services, and landscaping. A couple of projects that we have done that you might recognize are Walsh field in Bonnyville and the Cold Lake football field at the Energy Centre, just to name a couple.

Another project that we were involved with, is the Fort Kent and Ardmore fire halls. We were awarded the contract to do the site work, water and sewer, excavate the foundation, and backfill, as well as the landscaping. The general contractor was RPC Group out of Calgary. We started work on the fire halls in November of 2019. We put a hold on our work at the fire halls in September of 2020.

We put the project on hold because the general (RPC) had failed to pay us for any of the work that we had done since May of 2020. I reached out to RPC several times to resolve the payment. I was forced to stop working because we couldn’t afford to continue without payment any longer. I notified the MD of the problem with getting paid early on, I reached out by email and was told to contact the Engineering firm
in charge of the project (BR2).

I was told that they would look into it, but nothing ever really came of those conversations. I was told that the MD and BR2 won’t get involved with disputes between the prime contractor, and the subcontractors since the subcontractors and the MD have not entered into a
the contractual agreement and I will have to deal with RPC on my own, or through the legal system.

The MD posted this on their Social Media Oct. 5.

 

I placed a lien on the projects.

I waited a few months and noticed that construction was still continuing. Which surprised me because I believed that my lien would have had to be resolved before RPC would receive any more funds from the MD. I reached out to the now-former MD CAO (Luc Mercier) to ask “why construction was still moving forward since I still had a lien on the project?”. His response to me was, “I can’t be putting this project on hold, just for you.” What was I supposed to do with that response?

I’m not sure of what all of the laws are and how these projects are dealt with within the MD, but my opinion is that the MD should be managing their projects better. (A) to make sure that these projects run more smoothly, and (B) to protect the small local subcontractors from getting burnt from these out-of-town companies. After all, if our local companies go under, that’s tax dollars that the MD loses, as well as money that would have been spent in our local economy, because the work would go to out of town companies instead.

As a taxpayer in the MD myself, I am sick to my stomach when I pay my taxes in full, and on time, when I am getting screwed on an MD funded project. Not sure what else to say, YES, I’m pissed that I have been ripped off by an out of town company, but even more pissed that our MD is doing nothing to help, or even acknowledging that there are problems with these projects, and problems within their own management. Things need to change.

Shane Morton

Rydayce Construction

 

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Note from the Editor:

Lakeland Connect reached out via email to Reeve Greg Sawchuk and Tracy Wasylow who is the Communications Coordinator with the Municipal District of Bonnyville on October 5, 2021 with these questions:

  1. How can the project move forward when there are upwards to eight construction leans on the project?
  2. Has the RPC been paid by the MD?
  3. How can you set a move in date when the legal matters have not been settled?
  4. Will the sub contractors who have not been paid be used again?
  5. Will they be paid for outstanding work?
A response was not received.

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