Council seeking photo enforcement proposals

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by Tristan Turner

Morinville – Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE) contractors could soon be presenting their offers to the Town of Morinville after Council voted 5-0 in favour of sending out a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the service. The RFP follows the Town’s purchasing policy and, because an annual photo enforcement contract is typically greater than $75,000 per year, the RFP will also be submitted on the Alberta Connect Website in accordance to the internal trade agreement (TILMA) guidelines.

While the Town is looking for a competitive offer, the RFP outlines some specific requirements, including the prospective companies willingness to “acknowledge and adhere to any Town Policy or Bylaw as related to the delivery of the ATE program.” Additionally requirements include that they have a detailed report on fee and cost structure, that they have demonstrated their effectiveness in communities similar to Morinville, and that they meet all of the guidelines and training requirements outlined by the province.

Council was generally in agreement with the proposed RFP presented by Administration; however, Deputy Mayor Gord Putnam felt it was important to add a stipulation that companies who respond to the RFP must be willing to work on “public interface and education.” Putnam went on to clarify that he believes photo enforcement operators should “have a really good reputation, have the ability to publically interface with our citizens – both those for and against [photo radar] – and be part of our education process.” After Putnam brought forward these concerns Chief Administrative Officer Debbie Oyarzun suggested Council could add ‘public interface’ as a requirement, seeing as there were already educational stipulations in the document, which was agreed to by Putnam with no dissent from other present councillors.

[SUBHEAD]Turning the key

In the original draft of the RFP, there was a stipulation that all proposals be able to offer a “full turn key solution”, meaning that all prospective contractors must be able to offer all necessary components of the automatic traffic enforcement program, including the ability to provide administrative support for ticket processing, record keeping, court requirements as well as the ability to meet all legislative conditions associated with the Town utilizing an Automated Enforcement Program. Councillor Barry Turner raised some concerns about this, saying he would like to see ‘non-turn key solutions’ be included in RFP as well, saying: “Should we not – in order to do full due diligence to the program and to the community – at least even do a cursory investigation to see if its a reasonable thing to consider?” Following Councilor Turner’s comments, Oyarzun suggested that Councilor Turner give a notice of motion to Administration to pursue a feasibility study of ‘non-turn key solutions’ and other automated traffic enforcement options, including in-house services. Later on Council decided to include non-turn key providers as a potential provider in the RFP after Councillor Dafoe, who was also in favour of hearing bids from non-turn key solutions, brought a deeper discussion forward.

While the RFP is making the rounds seeking potential proposals, Council will continue to seek public input with an eye towards creating the policy the chosen contractor will be obliged to follow. Councillor Boutestien shared with the public that Council will be holding an informal coffee night discussion session on automated traffic enforcement at Higher Grounds June 25 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

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