A contract to purchase a 2024 self-propelled snowblower for the airport was approved by Williams Lake city council at its regular meeting Tuesday, Jan. 10.
This will be the city’s second attempt to replace the regional airport’s 1983 Vohl snowblower presently being used to plow the airport runway.
In June 2022, a $448,000-contract was approved to purchase a snowblower from Fresia S.P.A.
The machine arrived, but when it did not perform well in the winter conditions at the airport it was returned.
On Dec. 22, 2022, the city opened a second request for proposals.
In a written report to council, the city’s procurement and asset management coordinator Jenni Hoyer noted two were received: one from Aebi Schmidt Canada Inc. for $588,500 plus $29,425.00 GST and $41,195.00 PST for a total of $659,120 and the other from J.A. Larue Inc. at $596,520 plus $29,826.00 for GST and $41,756.00 for PST for a total of $688,102.40
Hoyer stated staff recommended council approve the J.A. Larue Inc bid, expressing confidence the company’s quoted machine will work well for the airport conditions.
J.A. Larue Inc. is based in Watt, Que. and has been in business since 1973.
The city will use the $520,000 federal grant it received toward the purchase of the snowblower, with the additional $118,074.40 covered by the airport reserve.
GST is recoverable, Hoyer noted.
Any funds generated from auctioning the old snowblower will go back into reserves, confirmed CAO Gary Muraca.