One Whistler resident thinks the RMOW can be doing more to save money when it replaces municipal vehicles.
With four municipally-owned vehicles being put up for public auction, one resident is wondering why more isn’t being done to keep the vehicles at the RMOW in order to potentially save replacements costs.
The issue was raised during the question period of Tuesday’s (July 3) council meeting when it was noted that three municipally-owned work vehicles, three trucks and a Smart Car, were up for public auction, and local David Buzzard wanted to know why the muni couldn’t continue using the trucks
“The trucks, the oldest is a 2004 and the newest is a 2007,” he said. “Not one has more than 130,000 km and one only has 100,000 km.”
Buzzard noted that the combined minimum bid for all three totalled around $22,000 while the replacement value is around $160,000.
“The trucks seem perfectly fine so why do they need to be replaced?”
Joe Paul, general manager of infrastructure and services answered on council’s behalf.
“The vehicle acquisition annual report will be coming to council in coming meetings and we will be showing the public that there is an optimization point that reflects ongoing operating costs versus the costs of leaving a vehicle too long before getting anything for it,” he answered.
Paul also noted that the vehicle acquisition cost for 2012 was around $975,000.
Buzzard then suggested council may want to consider adopting a policy similar to federal agencies where all vehicles are required to remain in service for at least 160,000 km or ten years, something that Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden took to heart.
“I appreciate the comment and certainly any comments you have when it comes to council will be welcomed,” she said.
Alpine Paving receives asphalt tender
Alpine Paving was awarded a $666,484 paving contract on Tuesday following council voting unanimously to award the asphalt company the 2012 Whistler Road and Trail Reconstruction Program tender.
According to RMOW staff, Alpine Paving was one of two companies that submitted bids for the project and came in with a proposal $118,024 less than their competitor.
However, staff also noted that not only did Alpine Paving come up with the lower bid, but it also submitted a second, even lower bid.
“(Alpine Paving) also submitted an alternative price, which offers a saving of $55,000 if (they) were to be supplied from their Whistler plant,” explained James Hallisey, manager of environmental projects for the RMOW.
“This is contrary to previous council directive.”
Hallisey is referring to a past resolution passed by council where it was deemed that the RMOW would do business with Alpine Paving, so long as the asphalt did not come from its contentious Whistler plant in Cheakamus Crossing. Alpine Paving also has a plant in Squamish.
In the end, the savings weren’t enough to sway council from keeping asphalt manufacturing out of Cheakamus Crossing. After making sure the recommendation was to go with the asphalt from outside of Whistler, council voted unanimously to award it to Alpine Paving.
“Our ultimate goal is to work with (owner) Mr. Silveri and have the asphalt plant leave the neighbourhood,” said Wilhelm-Morden. “In the meantime, the less it operates at that location the better.”
Report example of provincial downloading
The provincial downloading of responsibilities was one of the key issues Whistler’s mayor took away from the first B.C. Mayor’s Caucus in May and on Tuesday a report on municipal hazards further exemplified that very issue, she said.
Following a staff report on possible hazards the muni may face and potential solutions, mayor Wilhelm-Morden inquired about provincial or federal funding for emergency preparedness such as the report.
It was then revealed that the federal government had previously been committing funds to such projects, but that 2012 was the last year. Prior to that, the province was responsible for such reports.
“This is a classic case of downloading,” she said. “They’re requiring the municipality to do the work while cutting them off with funding.”