By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
City council is set to award a familiar face with the responsibility of managing the restoration of Oshawa’s Harbour Lands.
A recommendation to single-source project management of the harbour redevelopment to XCG Consultants for approximately $314,500 has passed through the finance committee and is set to go before council on Feb. 21.
Since the city regained ownership of the lands from the federal government, XCG has been heavily involved with the completion of the risk assessment process in order to file the appropriate documents with the province and begin mediation and construction on the property. That process involved the filing of a Certificate of Property use and eventually a Record of Site Condition, something expected to be completed shortly.
A city report explains that due to the consultant’s extensive knowledge of the site and the time constraints on redeveloping the property, it would be prudent to approve the single-sourced contract. The city’s purchasing bylaw requires council approval for single-sourced contracts greater than $50,000.
“It would be beneficial for the city to engage XCG once again to be the project manager for this project and assist the city in completing the capping portion of the project based on their work to date and information related to the harbour lands in order to ensure (Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change) compliance,” a city report reads
Councillor Amy McQuaid-England questioned the approval, seeking to find if at any point XCG had been awarded its role with the city through an RFP process, the typical process for municipalities to obtain outside work that allows companies to bid on the contract. Staff did not immediately have that information for the councillor.
McQuaid-England argued that the only reason XCG had the proper knowledge to take on this contract was as a result of the single-sourced contracts issued to obtain them in the first place. She questioned how the city knew they were getting value for money.
“They’ve always had the advantage,” she said. “Throughout the process, we’ve single-sourced to the same company.”
However, Warren Monroe, the city’s director of planning services, says there is a much more prudent reason to expedite this process, and that is the slowly approaching October 2018 deadline. That deadline requires the city to convert portions of the harbour lands for parkland use, along with working to establish a marina. The city received an extension to its original 2017 deadline last year.
“(It) would be a very lengthy and protracted process for a new consultant,” he said. “As we get closer and closer to that date and we get more and more delays from the provincial government…I’m getting more and more uncomfortable.”
He says that as the remediation process nears completion, it will allow “a small window of time” to complete the necessary work.
“Time is of the essence,” he said, noting he had not yet considered asking the federal government for another extension.
If awarded the contract, XCG would be responsible for managing the general contractor assigned to the work, which will include removing the remaining debris on the site including buildings, cement, fencing and bridges, along with managing the future construction, testing and safety inspections.