City to get new ice resurfacer 0
Pembroke operations manager
Pembroke’s operations department has received the blessing of council to break with its procurement policy and sole source a new ice resurfacer.
At a recent meeting, the operations committee gave Doug Sitland, operations manager, permission to obtain a quote just from Olympia, one of two manufacturers of ice resurfacing machines available in North America, along with Zamboni, to find a machine to replace the one in the Pembroke Memorial Centre.
Mr. Sitland said normally a Request for Quotation/Proposal would be issued first, then the results of that brought to the committee for perusal, but there is a provision in the policy which does allow for a sole source purchase if it can be justified in writing, which is reviewed by senior staff and ultimately approved by council.
He said the department feels obtaining an Olympia machine makes sense in a number of ways. The Zamboni and Olympia machines available are similar price-wise: back in 2009, the city obtained quotes for a replacement ice resurfacer at the Pembroke and Area Community Centre (PACC), with the Zamboni’s quote being $73,965, and the Olympia being $72,225. However, the operations manager said they are two different machines, so it is difficult to compare the two models directly.
“Each model has its pros and cons, and it is very difficult to select the appropriate model based solely on price,” Mr. Sitland said.
Operations staff have experience with both brands of ice resurfacer, he said. Prior to 2009, the city used a 1998 model of a Zamboni at the PACC, and it lasted only 11 years; the existing machine at the PMC is a 1994 Olympia.
“While the sample size is small, from our experience Olympia has a longer life as compared to a Zamboni,” Mr. Sitland said. In addition, back in 2009 when they were seeking quotes, Olympia offered an unlimited two year warranty, while Zamboni offered only 2,000 hours.
Maintenance has been less expensive on the Olympia machines, he said, and city mechanics can complete the works. Lastly, the city already has two Olympias, of which one will be replaced by the new one. Parts from the older one could be used to keep the other two going.
“To ease future maintenance requirements, it would be much simpler to acquire a new Olympia,” Mr. Sitland said.
The committee as a whole approved this, and the operations manager said he will then deal directly with Olympia, bringing back to committee the details of the quotation, the selected make and model of the ice resurfacer once he has obtained them.
The city has pre-approved a budget of up to $90,000 for this equipment purchase.
Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist