View from the airfield at Trail Regional Airport (Trail Times file photo)

View from the airfield at Trail Regional Airport (Trail Times file photo)

YZZ landscaping set to begin

Council awarded the landscaping/streetscaping project to Sierra Landscaping

The contract for finished touches at the Trail Regional Airport (YZZ) has been awarded to Sierra Landscaping, an Okanagan-based company the city has used for a variety of streetscape projects over the years.

There is a twist to the deal, however.

Council approved $235,000 toward the job before the city tendered the project in early March. The sole bid was from Sierra, but it came in well over budget at almost $315,000 not including taxes.

The topic hit the table during the April 9 governance meeting, at which time council members agreed to up the budget to $425,000, with the stipulation to further negotiate the work scope and pricing prior to finalizing the contract.

“The budget was increased in response to the one tender received for the job,” Mayor Mike Martin clarified. “In review of the budget in comparison to Sierra’s bid, it was determined that most of the pricing was appropriate. There were some larger variances in some of the line items, such as concrete signage as well as mobilization and demobilization, given the bid was from a non-local contractor.”

He says rather than reducing the scope or re-tendering, the decision was made to proceed.

“Council was satisfied that this decision was in the city’s best interest when considering the overall financial considerations as compared to future risk,” Martin said. “And it was further noted that Sierra did very good work for the city as part of the Columbia Skywalk bridge approach work they completed last year. “

Notwithstanding the 2018 budget increase, when considering expenses from last year, overall costs are only slightly above the original $4.11 million consolidated budget.

The job is slated to start within the next few weeks and will take several months to complete.

“The project involves all of the landscaping and outside improvements that were not completed last year,” Martin said.

Work includes enhancements to the entrance/exit coming from the highway as well as new lighted signage. A significant part of the project involves construction of a roof over the stairs that connect the upper parking lot to the terminal.

“That is designed to mimic the staircases in the city,” Martin added. “Vegetation or other treatments will be applied to the bare areas along with irrigation within the newly developed parking lot area, and a public seating and viewing area constructed immediately to the north of the new terminal.”

The budget increase will be covered by funds from the $1 million Columbia Basin Trust (Trust) loan, “in accordance with the Contribution Agreement.

“The city has entered into an agreement for the Trust to provide the city with $1 million to be repaid over 20 years without interest,” Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff clarified. “The proceeds from the Trust’s contribution is used as a funding source for the construction of the airport terminal building as opposed to using the city’s internal existing reserves and surplus that currently do earn interest,” he added.

“Further, the retention of reserves provides the city more flexibility when considering how to fund other more significant and high priority capital projects in the future where debt or other sources of funding may not be available.”