A bus that costs more than a house

The city might be buying another $450,000 bus. And, city administrators are recommending foregoing the tendering system and awarding a sole-source…

The city might be buying another $450,000 bus.

And, city administrators are recommending foregoing the tendering system and awarding a sole-source contract to a Quebec company, council learned last Monday.

The reason: Quebec’s Nova Bus has a proven track record for reliability and can get the bus north of 60 faster than any other company, said administrative services director Robert Fendrick.

“The upset price would be in the $450,000 range,” he said.

“Nova has indicated they will hold a build spot until early March which would mean we could take delivery in September (2009),” he said.

The new bus would join the city’s existing fleet, which consists of eight units and two spares, according to a city report.

Four of the fleet’s buses were purchased from Nova in 2006.

Of the other six units, four were purchased in 1997 and two were bought in 2003.

“The two smaller units purchased in 2003 are due for major overhauls within the next 12 months,” according to the report.

Seniors lose

their River View

A proposal to build affordable seniors’ housing in the River View Hotel has been officially squashed.

The idea, floated by the Royal Canadian Legion, is no longer on the table, senior city planner Zoe Morrison told council last week.

“In 2005, the Royal Canadian Legion applied to amend the zoning regulations for the River View Hotel on First Avenue at Wood Street to allow multiple residential on the first floor,” said Morrison.

“The proposal was intended to convert the hotel into 50 apartments that would provide affordable housing for seniors.

“The bylaw proceeded through the bylaw process in 2005 and then council postponed third reading pending the completion of a sales agreement between the proponent and the property owners.”

The city was informed recently that the Legion no longer intends to pursue the idea, she added.

The Legion’s February 8 letter to the city was brief.

“This is to advise you that the Legion no longer has an interest in this property and requests you withdraw our application for a zoning change,” wrote first vice-president Don Knutson.

“We thank you for your support on this matter.”