Review finds value in Nanaimo water contract

NANAIMO – A purchasing review looked at the value for dollar of a multi-million supply contract with Corix Water Products.

The City of Nanaimo is getting good value for its dollar under a multi-year waterworks contract, according to a new purchasing review.

A recently-released review by KPMG shows Duncan-based Corix Water Products is providing the city with the quality and cost savings the municipality wanted when it inked a five-year contract with the company in 2010. By the end of the agreement,  Nanaimo will have spent $6.8 million with Corix on waterworks supplies and saved an estimated $805,000.

Coun. Fred Pattje called the results of the review a “good news story” for the city, which tried the five-year contract as a new cost-savings strategy. Previously the municipality offered one-year agreements or went to tender when it needed a product.

But Leon and Christine Cake, who own Parksville’s Four Star Waterworks LTD, are not convinced the deal is a win for taxpayers or supply businesses like theirs.

The company had previously been selling the city approximately $250,000 in supplies a year. Now it’s no longer considered a vendor at all, said Christine.

“The only way you can tell if you are getting a good deal is if you can compare,” she said, pointing out that a bidding process allows that. “I like the old way. I think you get a better bang for your buck.”

The report, which looked at economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the contract, has recommended the city look at signing a minimum three-year commitment with a supplier once the agreement with Corix expires in 2015. The suggestion is in response to concerns stakeholders had about the length of the agreement.