Council agreed to take on the cost of the runway rehabilitation project after the Airport Capital Assistance Program (ACAP) withdrew some funding. The city has decided to fund the $45,039.50 through the savings in the 2019 Capital Projects fund.

The ACAP funding proposal required the city to use the lowest qualified bid. However, the city accepted a proposal from Integrated Airport Systems Ltd. who were not the lowest bidders for the project with a bid of $99,115. 

“There may be some small items that were not included and that’s one of the challenges I’m finding when we apply to the federal government,” says Mayor Gerald Aalbers. “They have very strict guidelines and items and projects can sometimes go out of those guidelines so in that case, the taxpayers are responsible for a little bit more as a city.”

WSP Global, formally known as Genivar, had the lowest qualified bid in 2013 with $54,075.50 and recommended a full-depth reconstruction of the runway, taxiway and apron surface structures. 

The airport’s general manager was unsuccessful in contacting the firm and sought a different contractor. It was found that WSP’s recommendations were inconsistent with the RFP and showed a change in the project’s scope of work. 

Aalbers says despite the city having to pay over $45,000, they still did receive federal funding for the project.

“At the end of the day, I think we secured a major funding arrangement because it would have been $5.7 million we would be looking from the taxpayers. Instead, we were able to get from the federal government so we took advantage of what we were able to.”