City gets better than three-for-the-price-of-one deal for back up power

Generators approved for Sportsplex, Community Centre, City Hall

Council was happy to learn at its last meeting that the city will get emergency back-up power for more facilities than it had bargained for.

Council, during 2015 financial planning in February, budgeted $365,000 for a single portable generator and independent switches at three city-owned buildings.

Dave Morris, the city’s general manager of facilities and supplies, told council at its July 6 meeting that after staff put out a Request for Proposals, it became apparent the city would be able to get more for its dollar than originally thought.

“As it turns out, the market was much more competitive and we were able to get all three buildings permanently serviced for well under the $365,000 budget,” Morris said.

Using Apple Electric Ltd., council will be able to install emergency generators at City Hall, the Community Centre and the Sportsplex for $285,277.

Coun. Larry Samson, who sits on the city’s safety committee, said he’s pleased all three facilities will have their own generators.

“It’s been a priority of the public safety sub-committee to have emergency back-up power to our facilities,” Samson said. “With City Hall being our emergency operations centre, it’s crucial for our operations centre to have such a back-up in emergency power. This really is good news. I want to thank staff for coming back with this.”

Clinton Crook, the city’s senior buyer, said after council approved the budget for a single generator, staff realized that simply using switches for the other facilities to piggy-back off the one generator could pose difficulties.

“It became apparent that acquiring an on-site generator at each building provided a much better solution due to the differing voltages at each building and the requirement for the portable generator to be able to operate on those voltages,” Crook said.

“Connecting a portable generator in a power outage would also require a ticketed electrician to be on site and only support emergency power at a single building, providing a limited level of service in a major black-out. For these reasons, staff opted to tender the project using stand-by generators at each site, budget permitting.”

Apple Electric came back with the lowest price among seven bidders.

Houle Electric was second at $328,196 followed by Discovery Diesel who put forward a price of $337,239.