Delta jobs up in the air

Coun­cil wa­ter con­tract lost to Ful­ton Ho­gan

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - By CHE BAKER

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.

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