Town, OCWA entering into new agreement for water and wastewater treatment systems

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg will be sticking with the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) to manage its water and wastewater systems.

The town chose to keep OCWA and entered into a new agreement last Monday night when town council passed a bylaw authorizing such a move. Todd Hewitt, the town’s manager of engineering and operations, stated in a report to council that the previous agreement was to have expired Dec. 31 but a three-month extension brought the new expiration date to March 31.

Hewitt said an RFP for the services was put out to “ensure that the town was receiving the most competitive price possible.” Two proposals were received with OCWA being ranked first when the bids were judged by the evaluation committee. That committee consisted of public works senior staff including the director, the manager of engineering and the manager of environmental services with the corporate services director also being involved.

Wastewater plantWEB

The five-year contract has significant savings for the town, according to Hewitt’s report.

“When you compare the five year contract costs to the current cost projected over five years, the contract costs alone result in a savings of $1,186,132.43,” Hewitt said in his report.

Hewitt stated the town saves over $111,600 in the first year of the contract with annual savings in years two to five ranging from $248,000 to $289,000 as compared to current costs. Inspections and certifications are now included in OCWA’s base fee as opposed to the town paying for them directly at a yearly cost of $13,000, Hewitt said, with janitorial costs at the sewage plant also now included in the contract.

Outdoor summer maintenance is also included in the contract as opposed to the town paying for it, Hewitt reported, with snow and ice removal also now being OCWA’s responsibility.

“In the previous contract the town paid a 15 per cent service fee on any minor or major maintenance that was completed at the facilities. Administration was able to negotiate the elimination of the service fee on the first $300,000 of maintenance, resulting in an approximate $45,000 savings each year,” Hewitt stated in his report “Any work beyond this threshold will be subject to a 10 per cent service fee, which will result in a 5 per cent savings from the prior 15 per cent.”

Hewitt told council members that OCWA likes working in Amherstburg and he thanked them for their efforts in helping the town save money. Council members were similarly pleased with Councillor Diane Pouget commenting that the “savings are phenomenal” with Councillor Rick Fryer stating that “administration did a great job” in securing the new deal.

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