Efforts to purchase the city's water supply from third party operator EPCOR are well underway following council's approval of up to $26,300 to hire a negotiator for the deal.
The approval came after council was presented with two options for firms to negotiate the valuation of the utility on behalf of the city, with KPMG LLP for $26,300 or BDO Canada LLP for $21,000.
According director of financial services Sandra Kurylo, the two proposals were evaluated by herself and city manager Dan Bottrill. Despite KPMG coming in at a higher cost, it was determined that it would be best suited for the job, "We evaluated based on best value, price, ability and experience to perform work," explained Kurylo.
"This is a very significant decision to undertake, and for that reason we didn't base (our recommendation) solely on price.
We based it on the demonstrated ability of the firm to undertake the work based on similar jobs they've done and the level of expertise."
Following the approval, the next step would be for KPMG to begin working with EPCOR to determine a price for the utility that both parties agree upon.
"The end result is to establish a fair value of the company and negotiate an acceptable purchase agreement," said Kurylo.
Coun. Larry Robinson said the money will be well spent with KPMG.
"We have to be taken seriously and KPMG is a major global company," he said. "If we have them in our house that's positive money spent (and) protection for taxpayers' best interest in the affair."
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