The City of Penticton has awarded the contract to make repairs to the Skaha dock to Trademark Industries, following a decision to fix damages sustained during a heavy wind storm earlier this summer.
Tom Hedquist, one of the principals of the Trio Marine Group, lists himself on LinkedIn as the owner of Trademark Industries. Trio holds the lease on Skaha Marina until the end of 2018 and had signed a contract with the City of Penticton to lease a portion of Skaha Lake Park to build a water slide complex. After two years, the city bowed to public pressure and paid Trio a $200,000 termination fee for abandoning the development agreement.
Over the long-term, the Skaha Marina has been identified as needing a number of repairs to retain its safe functioning as a public facility. While the plan for what those repairs will look like has not yet been fully envisioned, the damage that was specifically sustained by the dock earlier this year was such that a repair solution for the 2018 summer season was deemed immediately necessary as the dock remains open for public use,” said Bregje Kozak, director of recreation and facilities.
The city had originally directly awarded the contract to another company, but that award was challenged by a Victoria dock builder, triggering the Request for Quotations process with Trademark also submitting a bid.
“On some occasions, a direct award may be chosen as the best path to repair a city facility when timing is critical. However, that process is dependent on giving other businesses notice that a direct award is planned. Should a business feel they too can complete the work, then our process allows those businesses the opportunity to challenge the decision to direct award,” said the city in a release.
“Other qualified vendors have a right to challenge that award,” said Mayor Andrew Jakubeit, who noted that the evaluation process is done by staff. He and the other members of city council aren’t involved in the evaluation or decision-making process.
Regardless of what connections Trademark might have to Trio, Jakubeit said, they are a reputable, established Penticton company with a 25-year history doing marine construction in the Okanagan.
Jakubeit said the dock sustained more damage than expected in the storm, requiring the city to move quickly on getting those repairs started. Trio Marine isn’t responsible for the repairs, he explained, because of the nature of their deal with the city.
They did have a lease on the marina, but that changed as the Skaha Park lease was renegotiated and eventually terminated.
“It just became a licence to use, it became a holding plan until their new plan got enacted,” said Jakubeit. All plans were cancelled when the deal fell apart completely, and Trio’s only remaining deal with the city is for marina operations until the end of 2018.
“Whatever happens to the marina, it is a community facility,” Jakubeit said, explaining it is ultimately the city’s responsibility to ensure it is safe to use.
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News