The Wharf Rats Committee is thrilled with the issuing of a request for proposals (RFP) by the District of Sechelt that seeks a builder to restore the Davis Bay wharf.
"We waited and waited, and then finally that went out and it was like 'yes! It really is going to happen.' We were very happy to see that go out," said Margaret Pearson, chair of the Wharf Rats Committee, which has been fundraising for two and a half years to restore the iconic wharf in Davis Bay.
The District of Sechelt issued the RFP on March 18 through B.C. Bid with a closing date of April 2.
The documents stipulate that the chosen builder is expected to either start construction within five weeks of being awarded the contract or on "May 5, 2014, whichever is the earliest."
It also notes work is to be completed by June 30 so the new wharf can be used this summer.
The only thing missing is enough money to pay the successful proponent.
Currently the Wharf Rats have $418,000 for the project, which is estimated to cost $600,000 -leaving them with a $182,000 shortfall.
"We have applied to the Community Forest Legacy Fund for $150,000 and are confident that we can raise the final $32,000," Pearson noted.
The committee is still waiting on word from the Sunshine Coast Community Forest as to whether the grant application will be accepted.
Sechelt Mayor John Henderson said previously that issuing the RFP "is about lighting the fuse" but cautioned the Wharf Rats that he wasn't sure "that we can rely on $150,000 from any one donor, so don't take your foot off the gas in terms of reach to the public."
During the March 19 council meeting, Henderson said "getting the RFP issued is valuable because we really do need to get going. Hopefully this will also help the fundraising people get some money contributed to the cause and it will let us push the button on it as soon as we get the funds."
Pearson said her group is still taking donations and soon they will be discussing more ways for locals to get their names on plaques associated with the wharf.
Originally the Wharf Rats offered engraved planks to the public for $100 each as a fundraiser, quickly selling a total of 370 planks.
The RFP encourages potential builders to come forward with any "alternative details" that "would result in reductions to construction time and cost" for the project, in an effort to keep the costs down.
However, the District of Sechelt may not select the proponent with the lowest bid. According to the RFP documents, all proposals will be evaluated on the following:
Ability to meet the scope of the project.
Skills, machinery and previous experience, including methodology and providing cost saving measures.
Proposed time lines and work schedules.
Business references and capabilities.
Potential cost-saving strategies.
The chosen proponent will be responsible for building a new platform that is four and a half times larger than what is at the wharf now, widening the walkway and installing a swim float and gazebo.
The proponent will also replace pilings where needed.
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