Winter maintenance in the east end is costing Timmins $267 an hour for the next two years. Council voted last night to approve the contract with Miller Paving, but not without their frustrations. The issue with the contract is the city only got one bid to do the work, which has an almost 60 per cent cost increase over last year for a total price of $ 720,090.00

Councillor Andrew Marks says he is disappointed with the report and the lack of options. He says there are legalities, the city has to provide the service, the snow is about to fall in Timmins, and the contractor has to make their money; but he wants to know what would happen if council voted against the contract.

City Engineer Luc Duval says if the bid was voted down, the work would still get done but the cost would be unpredictable. Duval also expressed his frustrations, saying the request for proposal has been out for months, and the city only got one bid.

Miller Paving, who is doing the work, provided a 13 item list justifying their price. Duval says that list has essentially the same costs the city would to do the work in-house. However the big difference is with the equipment. The city doesn’t capitalize their equipment on four years like Miller Paving, as Duval says many of their plow trucks have lasted 15 to 20 years.

When you capitalize a piece of equipment for that much longer, there is a significant difference in what you would charge yourself for that work.

In the end council voted 4-2 in favour of the contract.