Alberta construction hungry for work

By Geoff Lee

October 19, 2016 1:53 PM

An information session at the Lloydminster Construction Association (LCA) on doing business with Alberta Infrastructure spoke to the critical need for work for business owners, like Hugh Ziprick.
Ziprick is the owner of Vantage Builders Ltd. in Vegreville, and is hungry to find commercial, residential and agricultural construction work for his 65 employees in the current economic downturn.
“Right now, we’d build you a dog house and if you don’t have a dog, we even have a fellow who has pups,” said Ziprick, to sum up the glum outlook in his area.
“It’s a tough market right now with the downturn in oil and gas and now with the farming economy with the crops still in the field—it’s a tough world out there right now.”
Ziprick said with the downturn in the economy he came to Lloydminster hoping to learn if the government will release some funds for all types of construction.
“Knowledge is good so we’re here just to see what we can pick up and hopefully hear some good stuff coming out of the government,” he said.
That was one of the reasons for the presentation to about 20 people at the LCA office last week,  headed by Alan Humphries, assistant deputy minister, Alberta Infrastructure.
“It’s not very great times in the Alberta market right now and the construction industry is going through some difficult periods,” said Humphries.
“We just want to make sure people know how to do work with us, what their responsibilities are and what some of the contractual obligations they’ll be having.”
A team from Alberta Infrastructure has been going around to all the local construction associations in the province giving the workshops.
Russ Lorenz, past president of LCA and owner of Citadel Mechanical Ltd. in Lloydminster was most interested in learning about updates to the government’s prompt pay legislation.
“As a small business owner, cash flow is always very important and sluggish payment is very hard to operate a business, so I am glad something has come down the pipe and I am here to learn a little more about it today,” said Lorenz.
The agenda covered everything from tendering process do’s and don’ts and contract award requirements to legal requirements and changes to the prompt pay system.
All of Alberta Infrastructure jobs are posted openly on the Alberta Purchasing Connection (APC) website for bidding.
“So they can go through that and find out what tenders are coming through,” said Humphries.
Government and private sector construction work is also posted on COOLNet Alberta, the online plan room for the eight construction associations in the province.
Humphries said because of the economic conditions, more bidders trying to find work with Alberta Infrastructure and so they want to make sure everyone knows how to get work with them and what projects are coming up.
Humphries noted there is $34.8 billion in infrastructure funding in the Alberta government’s five year capital plan from 2016-21.
Alberta has earmarked more than $6 billion in the capital plan for maintenance and renovations on a portfolio of more than 1,500 government buildings.
Humphries said there will be lots of work coming up for local contractors renovating buildings.
“A lot of it is on the capital maintenance side where we’re doing renovations on buildings so roofing jobs, window replacements, mechanical and electrical systems,” he said.
He added the information sessions give contractors an idea where they can be looking for opportunities in the next year or two.
Humphries noted there will be plenty of smaller work under $100,000 that’s going to give lots of opportunities to local contractors.
The APC website also posts all federally funded infrastructure projects for Alberta for public transit infrastructure projects (PTIP) and investments in water and wastewater projects (CWWP).
Infrastructure Canada has funded $347.2 million for Alberta for (PTIP) projects and $196. 7 million for CWWP in its Phase 1 $5.4 billion infrastructure budget for provinces and territories this fiscal year.
A total of $13.3 million in CWWP funds have been approved for the County of Vermilion River Stage 4 and 5 regional waterline from Lloydminster to Vermilion.
The waterline will supply drinking water the communities of Dewberry, Kitscoty, Marwayne, Paradise Valley, Derwent, Clandonald, Islay and Blackfoot.

More News

LCSD hosts archbishop

The Lloydminster Catholic School Division (LCSD) had a special guest this week, as Archbishop Richard Smith toured multiple schools. more »

Falk talks first session in House of Commons

Battlefords-Lloydminster member of Parliament Rosemarie Falk is back in her constituency for the summer. She held a summer office open house this week for people to have a tour, drop by for a conversation,… more »

Health council opens channels

We have your back on healthcare. That’s what the Yellowhead East Health Advisory Council (HAC) told local and area residents during its latest meeting at the Lloydminster Hospital on June 20. more »

more »