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Local contractors feel rushed in clean-up bids process

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Local contractors feel rushed in clean-up bids process

Dave Wallace from SPECS explains the bid process to local contractors on June 15, 2016 // Chris Vandenbreekel - Harvard Broadcasting

Six business days.

That’s how long local contractors were told they have to put together competitive bids for clean-up contracts after the Fort McMurray wildfire.

They were told about the timeline in a meeting today at the Sawridge Inn hosted by the RMWB. There they were told that the insurance companies have hired SPECS Ltd., a Canadian property loss appraisal company, to manage the bid process for the clean-up.

SPECS President┬áDave Wallace told the packed room that “one or more”┬áprinciple contractors would be chosen, who could then delegate work to smaller contractors. He suggested that if smaller contractors were able to combine forces under an umbrella company, they could qualify as one of the five main proponents.

But locals say that’s not enough time.

“I’m not sure if it’s even possible,” said Fort McMurray Construction Association Vice President Keith Plowman. “To try and pull this room of people together in six days, to come up with a plan, to review the documents… it’s a tight timeline.”

There were concerns in the crowd that the timeline would favour outside contractors. Insurance Bureau of Canada Regional Vice-President Bill Adams said that’s not the case.

“We would prefer that the work goes to Fort McMurray,” he said. “To help infuse that money as close to this community as possible to get the economy rolling again here. We get that. We want that.”

The bid document is set to be released Thursday, and SPECS is hoping to have clean-up of all neighbourhoods complete by September 30.

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