An Airdrie contractor is fired up over High River’s Public Tender process, or what they say, is a lack thereof.
Bike-Track is a company that designs and builds pump tracks and bike trails, and says in an email sent to High River Town Offices and local media they have not seen any public tender, RFQ or RFP’s to date.
High River Town Planner Sarah Peck says the reason the project hasn’t gone out to tender, is because it’s considered a private development.
“The process is being led by the High River Bike Park Society and that society is a community group of local citizens, not a committee of Council so they’re not required to publicly tender this project.”
The Town of High River has gifted the society a parcel of land, but has not committed any public funding to the group.
The Bike Park Society received $7,500.29 back in December in grant funding from the Community Vitality Advisory Committee (CVAC) and are fundraising to cover the remainder of their building costs, privately.
Peck says there’s a couple steps the Society still needs to complete before any ground breaks.
“There are a few drawings and plans the Bike Park Society still needs to submit, they will be likely submitted in conjunction with the contractor of their choice once the appeal period is over.” Peck adds “The Town would then review those plans and there will be a warranty period, but just like any similar private development, the choice of who the society retains as contractor is in their hands.”
Bike-Track’s Designer and Project Manager James Norton, seems to be most taken aback of the fact the project was awarded to a foreign company.
“I’ve recently been made aware that this project has been sole awarded to Velosolutions from Switzerland. Is it not a requirement with the expenditure of public money for the project to be tendered? We are a Canadian company with our HQ in Airdrie, established since 2006, with hundreds of projects, including award winning projects, to our name.”
Velosolutions while headquartered in Switzerland, does have a Canadian head office in Quebec with other offices located across the country, while Bike-Track’s head office is also located abroad, in the U.K. according to their website.
Pump track spokesperson, Jeff Hamilton says the society awarded the contract to Velosolutions due to their great reputation and the quality of their builds.
“After doing a lot of research as well as riding a variety of different tracks around Alberta, Velosolution’s tracks stood out from the rest.” says Hamilton “Their craftsmanship, attention to detail, and design was second to none. Their tracks had the best flow which means that their design and dimensions were spot on which makes the track extremely enjoyable to ride and provides the rider a feeling of always gaining momentum without having to work for it.”
Hamilton says it’s their goal to build a quality product that will serve the town the best.
“We always wanted to build the best track we could here in High River, knowing that this will bring in tourism and business to our community. The High River Bike Park Society is not willing to compromise on quality and expertise for a lesser price even though it may take longer to raise the funds.”
Hamilton says he has reached out to Norton, but has not received a response.
*With files from High River Online
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