Delta jobs up in the air
Council water contract lost to Fulton Hogan
Jobs are on the line in Alexandra after Delta Utilities lost its water services contract with the Central Otago District Council to Fulton Hogan last week. Delta chief executive Grady Cameron said: ‘‘We are naturally disappointed’’. The 3 Waters (drinking, waste and storm water) service provider had worked for the council for eight years. ‘‘At this early stage we are still working through the implications of that decision for our 3 Waters team in Alexandra,’’ Mr Cameron said. Last week the council announced it had awarded the contract to Fulton Hogan for $1.2 million, from four shortlisted tenders. Last year in June seven Queenstown and Central Otago Delta employees lost their jobs during a
company restructuring because of the economic downturn and less spending by local government. The effected employees were offered the opportunity to apply for other roles within in the company. Council infrastructure services manager Jon Kingsford said Fulton Hogan provided a tender in which they offered ‘‘an enhanced asset management focus, relationship contracting and increased local resources with a strong customer focus’’. The contract came with a reduced cost, presenting council with an opportunity to address several projects that had previously been deferred, Mr Kingsford said. The accepted tender was within council’s budgets and a submission will be made to its draft Annual Plan to adjust the water budgets for 2013/2014 to the new rate, with an overall reduction to the draft estimates of $210,000 of ratepayer funding. ‘‘Our water services team will be working closely with Fulton Hogan to identify opportunities to reduce service request numbers through proactive maintenance now possible as a result of these savings. ‘‘Fulton Hogan has presented the council with the opportunity to take 3 Waters operations and maintenance to the next level. That has been welcomed with arms wide open,’’ said Mr Kingsford. Council water services manager Russell Bond declined to comment on how much the contract with Delta had cost. Delta, which is owned by the Dunedin City Council, took over the contract in 2003 after it took over Roadex Contracting. The Fulton Hogan contract was for an initial five years and will commence on October 1. The contract could be extended for a further two two-year periods, subject to contract performance.