Contractor disputes city roof bid process

An out-of-town contractor is raising the roof over the awarding of a city contract to replace the roof at Echo Community Pool.

An out-of-town contractor is raising the roof over the awarding of a city contract to replace the roof at Echo Community Pool.

Maple Ridge roofer Mark Super, formerly of Port Alberni, submitted a $139,000 bid to replace the roof at the community pool.

According to Super, his was the lowest bid among five bidders. City policy notes that bids are usually awarded to the lowest bid, but in this case Flynn Canada of Port Alberni won it with the second lowest bid at $176, 500.

“I don’t see why I shouldn’t have been awarded the bid,” Super said to councillors.

Parks and Recreation director Scott Kenny acknowledged that Super was the lowest bidder, but said that there were issues with his bid.

The bid called for the installation of the Soprema Roofing Membrane System, which requires a specific designation to be considered a certified installer. Super doesn’t have that, Kenny said.

Also, Super isn’t a member of the Roofing Contractors Association of BC, and therefore can’t provide a RCABC warranty for his work. Such a warranty costs the city more but it better protects the city’s interests if there is an issue with the material, Kenny said.

And lastly, Super’s bid was incomplete when he submitted it, Kenny said. Specifically, the portion to do with the guarantee was missing. Super submitted it five days later but the bidding had closed. Other bidders’ packages were complete, Kenny added.

Coun. Hira Chopra asked what exactly the bid stated. “Super can’t provide a warranty for the Soprema product,” Kenny said. “If you don’t have it then you don’t have it.”

Super contested the point, saying that “Nowhere in the spec did it say that a Soprema warranty was wanted.”

Super pointed out that he offered to install an alternate product, one he has extensive experience in applying. The material costs are nearly identical and an independent inspector could have been employed to check the work. “I feel it’s exactly the same thing,” he said.

Allowing another product to be considered mid-bid would be unfair to other contractors and may put the city at risk legally, Kenny said.

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