Dysart et al is getting a jump on a provincial requirement.

Earlier today at a special council meeting, the councillors voted on and approved entering into a contract with Watson and Associates to create an Asset Management Plan.

The municipality had issued an RFP which closed on March 29th. According to Dysart Treasurer Barbara Swannell, they had received five bids including the eventual winner Watson. With the bid approves, Dysart is expecting to spend an upset cost of $105,345 plus HST.

Swannell suggested Watson because their bid included visual inspections of above ground infrastructure, staff workshops during the various development stages of the AMP, an “Asset Management 101” presentation to council, and software integration. According to Swannell, the software is designed in such a way that staff can use it even after the project is done.

Another factor for why Swannell suggested Watson was the fact that when it is done, Dysart would be well ahead of the curve for upcoming provincial deadlines. In December of 2017, Ontario passed a regulation that meant all municipalities had to have an AMP. Within that regulation, is a deadline of July 2019  to outline commitments to best practices and continuous improvement. The next deadline, which Swannell pointed out they’d be ahead of, is July 2021 when there needs to be an inventory of core assets. The final deadline is an expansion to all assets, that needs to be done by July 2023.

The decision to go with Watson was met with some controversy, Councillor John Smith raised concerns over the price tag, and questioned why bids that were non-compliant with the RFP were included. Smith suggested that their inclusion was puzzling, and wondered if it was common to handle the RFP process that way, which CAO Tamara Willbee said it was.

After some discussion, councillor Larry Clarke addressed Smith saying that he felt Smith was “going off on a tangent” and wasting Clarke’s time. A comment that Clarke later apologized for and explained he was simply frustrated because he felt Smith’s comments were not adding value to the discussion.

With the conversation done, Mayor Andrea Roberts called for a vote and Smith asked that it be a recorded vote. All except for Smith voted yes, passing the resolution