SUNDRE — The municipality has awarded a three-year contract to a safety codes agency that has provided the service to the town since 2009.
“We do hire a safety codes agency to perform inspections under building, plumbing, gas and electrical,” Linda Nelson, the town's chief administrative officer, said during a regularly scheduled council meeting conducted by teleconference last month.
“That contract is due to expire this year,” said Nelson, adding a request for proposals had previously been issued.
Providing further background on the matter, Betty Ann Fountain, senior development officer, said the town has been an accredited municipality under the Safety Codes Act since 1995.
Fountain said that means the municipality is responsible for the administration of the act and regulations within the municipality’s boundaries. Under the authority of the Safety Codes Act, she told council the municipality will engage an accredited agency to provide safety code permit review, approval and inspections in the building discipline as well as inspection services in the electrical, gas and plumbing disciplines.
The agency also coordinates with the town’s planning and development staff on all matters pertaining to safety code issues, she added.
Three submissions were received from accredited agencies following the request for proposals, which ended on Feb. 26.
Upon a careful review process of each submission, Fountain said administration determined the preferred candidate was Superior Safety Codes Inc., which has operated across Alberta since 2004, and in Sundre as the town’s accredited agency since 2009.
“To date, 1,277 building, electrical, gas and plumbing permits have been issued, with a 96 per cent closure rate,” she said during her report to council.
“In regard to customer service, the town has not received any complaints or concerns regarding the service provided by Superior Safety Codes officers or administrative staff,” she said, adding the agency continues to provide a timely and professional service.
Superior also provided a fee scheduled, which will slightly increase some costs for permits, she added.
“But most are less than 10 per cent overall. This is agreeable as the current fee schedule is from 2017, with recognition that the cost of doing business has increased,” she said.
The other proposal were from accredited and experienced agencies that also scored high, but at a higher cost with a lower cost split for the town, meaning less revenue for the municipality, she said, concluding her presentation by stating administration recommended awarding the three-year contract to Superior Safety Codes Inc.
Coun. Rob Wolfe made a motion to that extent.
Speaking in favour of the motion, Coun. Charlene Preston merely wanted to know why the contract was only for a three-year period.
Nelson said that while some municipalities sign five-year contracts, a three-year contract is standard practice.
Without further conversation or questions from council, Wolfe’s motion carried.