The City of Kimberley has been contracting with local company Aqua Tex Scientific for many years to provide water quality monitoring in the Mark Creek and Matthew Creek watersheds for many years.
However when their contract came up for renewal at City Council this past Monday evening, a couple of councillors wanted to take another look at services provided. The contract is in the amount of $27,561 for Mark Creek and $8,955 for testing in the Matthew Creek watershed.
Coun. Albert Hoglund reported that continued monitoring was supported by the Watershed Committee as long as there is activity, such as logging occurring in the watershed.
However, Coun. Kent Goodwin said he was uncertain if all the testing was required.
“It’s been some time since we had a hard look at what tests are being done and if they are all needed,” Goodwin said. “I am a big fan of data but we are under pressure for cost savings everywhere. I would like more discussion as to whether these tests are necessary.”
Coun. Don McCormick noted that the contract had been in place for many years and wondered if it had gone out to tender at all.
He was told it was tendered last year.
“I’d like to see it go out to tender again. It’s just good practice,” McCormick said.
Coun. Darryl Oakley agreed.
“We may not get another competitive bid but it’s important for due diligence.”
Goodwin said that if Council was going to send it out to tender, it would be a good time to look at the tests and discuss what was necessary.
Mayor Ron McRae said it would be best to defer contract renewal until that was done.
Kimberley City Council adopted the City’s Financial Plan Bylaw for 2014 and the Tax Rates and Flat Tax Bylaws for the year. The plan was presented to taxpayers at a town hall meeting in April and given first three readings at the last Council meeting. By provincial law, the budget must be adopted by May 20.