District searches for water, wastewater facility contractor

Move follows no one submitting construction bids

District of Houston staffers are now on the hunt for a contractor to build a bulk water provision and wastewater receiving facility aimed at servicing large-scale users.

That follows having no one bid on a contract for the facility by a July 8 closing date.

The planned facility, which would be built on the west side of Nadina, south of the District’s public works shop, already has one customer lined up — the Civeo Corporation which is establishing the large Huckleberry Lodge work camp and the 9A camp for Coastal GasLink’s natural gas pipeline project.

Civeo has agreed to pay $374,600 with the District adding $177,900 from its reserve funds.

With no bids received, District staffers are now looking for qualified contractors from whom a price for the project will be solicited, says District of Houston chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck.

There are existing regulatory measures to “permit municipalities to pursue quotes directly from proponents in the event there are no bids received from a public tendering process,” he said.

As to why there were no bidders, Pinchbeck said one company indicated it was too busy to take on this project.

“No other feedback was received from contractors who may have been considering bidding on this project,” he added.

Approval of awarding a contract to a contractor remains at the discretion of the District of Houston council.

The original plan had been for work to start this year to coincide with the ramping up of workers being based at the pipeline camps.

“The District continues to coordinate with Coastal GasLink and [the] camp services contractor to ensure that this project is completed in a timely and cost-effective manner,” said Pinchbeck.

“We will be assessing the impacts on the potential construction timeline once contractor availability and pricing has been determined.”

In earlier briefing notes presented to council, District operations manager Chris Lawrence noted the District now has only a small water line and sewer station primarily to service RVs.

“Although this has not specifically been identified as a strategic priority, this project serves a broad role in promoting economic diversity,” Lawrence wrote.

Houston is one of three communities, the others being Burns Lake and Fraser Lake, in which agreements have been struck to upgrade water and sewer services to support the Coastal GasLink project.

User fees will also be paid to local governments.

This is the second construction project planned by the District this year that has not turned out as planned.

The first, to place utility lines underground along Hwy16 in the downtown core area, was shelved when received bids exceeded the budget set out by the District. But the District is now hoping that will take place next year.

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