The City of Fernie Council has awarded the development of the Fernie Trails Master Plan contract to McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. for $72,233 including all applicable taxes. The funds will come from the province’s Resort Municipality Initiative and more specifically the allocation in the City of Fernie 2012-2016 Resort Development Strategy for the Fernie Trails Master Plan.
Twenty proposals were received with the lowest bid of $58,000. Council had allotted $75,000 in the budget for the project. The report from the Director of Leisure Services Cam Mertz regarding the award of Fernie Trails Master Plan was reviewed by Council. Mertz provided an overview and responded to Council’s questions.
“Seventeen objectives were listed as deliverables,” said Mertz. “McElhanney met and exceeded all of them. The $58,000 [bid] did meet all the Request For Proposal (RFP) requirements but did not meet all 17 goals and objectives.”
The evaluation process was weighted with 80 per cent towards meeting the goals and objectives and 20 per cent on the budget.
Councillor Dan McSkimming commented, “I struggle with this [money] disparity. Is 80/20 standard?”
Jim Hendrix, Chief Administrative Officer explained that 80/20 is not standard but this RFP had criteria that was more subjective as it considered items like the experience of the firm.
There were two separate sub-committee meetings with the Fernie Trails Alliance and evaluation sheets were used to review the bids.
“The lowest price is not always the best,” said Mayor Mary Guiliano.