Watson’s in, Highlands Environmental out
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | September 6, 2018
The Township of Minden Hills has given a temporary, sole source contract, to former landfill attendants, Watson’s General Contracting.
In doing so, they will put Highlands Environmental out of a job effective Oct. 1. The decision came during an Aug. 30 council meeting. However, the township has said it will put a new, threeyear contract out to tender this month, and will be in a position to award it to the strongest bid at a Dec. 13 council meeting.
Ivan Ingram, environmental and property operations manager, said staff approached Watson’s about taking on the contract to December 31, 2018 and they said yes. The cost is $18.90 an hour, the same as what Highlands Environmental was getting. Ingram added the money is in the 2018 budget and does not exceed $50,000. Because council is in a so-called lame duck position, since there will be an election Oct. 22, they cannot spend more than this.
The matter was passed without any comment from councillors. Asked by The Highlander whether any consideration had been given to extending Highlands Environmental’s contact for three months until tenders were issued and received, Mayor Brent Devolin said, “Consideration is always given as per our procurement policy. Minden Hills has experience with both providers, and made the decision based on our experience with both of them.”
Highlands Environmental declined comment when contacted by The Highlander last Thursday. They were awarded a three-year contact with options for two years of renewal at a Sept. 24, 2015 council meeting. They were the only bidder. Watson’s had the contact before them.
Scotchline landfill has been plagued with difficulties in the last two years, including the issuing of two provincial officers’ orders in 2017. Council also voted earlier this year to go with a new oversight company, GHD Limited, ending its contract with Cambium Inc.
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.