By Barb McKay
Kincardine’s airport strategic plan will soon get underway.
Kincardine council approved awarding a contract for the project to Genivar, a Port Elgin and Goderich-based company, with expertise in municipal planning, among other sectors. Genivar’s bid for the project of $57,185 came in significantly over the $25,000 budget and was not the lowest bid for the work. Quartek Group Inc. and EBA also submitted applications.
“We believe there are compelling reasons to support the application from Genivar,” Kincardine CAO Murray Clarke told council.
He said the company submitted the strongest and most comprehensive proposal and addressed all the reference items required for the airport plan. He added that at least one of the other applicants missed requirements of the request for proposal.
“I believe we’d be receiving very good value from the proposal that was delivered by Genivar,” he said.
Deputy mayor Anne Eadie agreed.
“They know our airport well and have the expertise and experience so I support this,” she said.
The fact that the bid was more than twice the amount that was set aside for the work was troubling for some council members. In order to come up with the extra money, council had to put off replacing of a hangar door at the airport.
“I think it’s too much money; significantly over the budget,” said councillor Ken Craig.
Craig said council needs to address the way the municipality deals with projects. Too often, he said, council is too quick to approve a bid that is over the amount that is budgeted.
Clarke said, in regards to the airport strategic plan, the amount required for the work was underestimated.
“Had we known the scope of the work beforehand we would have been looking at a budget that is more in line with what we’re looking at here,” he said.
Genivar will be tasked with coming up with recommendations for the layout of the airport, including capital improvements; reviewing the private lands adjoining the airport; looking for ways to generate additional income; looking at future development opportunities; preparing a high level marketing plan; looking at potential impacts to the airport from proposed wind energy developments; looking at possible accessibility improvements; and coming up with a priority list of the top 10 initiatives and actions that the municipality should undertake in relation to the airport.
Councillor Ron Coristine said while the price tag is high than what was anticipated the money will be well spent.
“While the airport is an expensive asset it’s also a valuable asset,” he said, “and if we’re going to do a strategic plan we have to do it well and do it thoroughly.”