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Mike Howell: Vancouver police want new boat; park board seeks ‘quality’ beer for golf course clubhouses

City’s bid page also reveals consultant being sought to track climate emergency plan targets
The Vancouver Police Department wants a new patrol boat to replace the R.G. McBeath, which the department says is “reaching the end of its life.”

The Vancouver Police Department wants a new patrol boat.

The Vancouver Park Board wants to find a supplier to stock its three golf course clubhouses with draft and canned beer.

The City of Vancouver wants to hire a consultant to track whether the city will meet its goals set out in the climate emergency action plan.

All three of these wants are listed on the city’s bid page, where suppliers can download details of each request for applications and submit a costed-out pitch in hopes of winning some business.

What’s the city’s budget for, say, a new police boat?

As expected, the city is not going to reveal that information because the whole point of the bid is not to give bidders an indication of how much the city can afford. But shouldn’t there be a line item in the city’s budget to provide a ballpark number?

The city’s response, via email:

“The information available publicly in city budget documents is not broken down to a line item level for each procurement, so it’s not possible for a bidder to know the specific budget set aside for a specific procurement. For transparency purposes, we publish the final contracted amount after the completion of the procurement.”

'End of its life'

Fair enough, but what’s wrong with the current police boat?

Over to Sgt. Steve Addison, a VPD media relations officer, for that answer.

“The R.G. McBeath is reaching the end of its life, and maintenance costs are increasing,” Addison said in an email.

“Weather and salt water tends to beat up these vessels over time, and causes particular troubles with the electrical equipment. It’s getting more and more expensive to keep it running, and like every other vehicle in our fleet, our boats need to be in proper condition so we can respond to calls, keep the public safe, and keep our officers safe.”

Ballpark cost?

Addison: “The cost of a replacement will likely be determined through the bid process.”

The bid closes May 2.

'Variety, quality and uniqueness of flavours'

Meanwhile, the hunt is on for a vendor or vendors to supply beer to Fraserview, Langara and McCleery golf course clubhouses.

Additional locations may be added in the future, according to the request for application, which emphasizes the need for “a diverse selection of high quality local craft and canned beers.”

“The golf course clubhouses offer both a casual place to eat after a round of golf as well as hosting catered events throughout the year,” the application document said.

“Thus a diverse selection of product is required to meet the needs and tastes of all clubhouse patrons. Regular maintenance and cleaning of the equipment and lines is also required.”

The application is not clear on how each brand of beer will be chosen — or if the city has a beer connoisseur they rely on — but the “variety, quality and uniqueness of flavours will all be evaluated.”

That bid closes April 7.

Zero emissions vehicles

One other item of note on the bid page is the need for a consultant to track whether the city’s climate emergency action plan — approved in November 2020 —  is on a trajectory to meet targets for 2030 and 2050.

What targets?

Here’s some, as outlined in the plan:

• By 2030, the goal is to have 90 per cent of people live within an easy walk/roll of their daily needs.

• By 2030, two-thirds of trips in Vancouver should be by transit and “active transportation,” which means biking, walking, rolling, etc.

• By 2030, 50 per cent of the kilometers driven on Vancouver’s roads should be by zero emissions vehicles.

• By 2030, carbon pollution from building operations should be cut in half from 2007 levels.

• By 2030, carbon pollution from building materials and construction practices in new buildings should be reduced by 40 per cent compared to a 2018 baseline.

• By 2050, Vancouver will sequester 21,000 tonnes of carbon pollution per year within city boundaries.

The consultant’s job will be to undertake a city-wide modeling exercise to understand many things about the plan, including identifying “the gaps and range of uncertainties in meeting the [plan’s] targets, reflecting the dependency upon regional, provincial and federal policy and regulatory choices.”

That bid closes March 29.

Granville Bridge

All bids, including those that are pending and others that have been awarded, can be viewed by logging on to the city’s website.

Go to the home page, write “bids” in the search bar and you can find out, for example, how much Associated Engineering (BC) Ltd. was paid last year ($2.7 million) as a consultant for the “interim connector design and north loops configuration” work on the Granville Bridge.

Or maybe you’re more interested to learn that Applied Electronics Ltd. was paid $459,850 to provide an audiovisual upgrade and maintenance for systems at city hall and the park board.

Whatever your interest is in the city, chances are it’s covered somewhere in the documents.

Happy reading.