A single-source contract to develop a business plan and design for a new synergy convention-style centre, became a point of contention at Tuesday's Sudbury city council meeting.

The agreement with CBRE Limited is supposed to expedite the project, according to city staff who noted that a single-source contract was also given to Cumulus Architects for the development of a new entertainment complex with a new arena on the Kingsway. 

But some city councillors want to see a request for proposals (RFP).

"Though I support the project, I will not vote for single-source not going out to tender," Coun. Gerry Montpellier said.

"I believe that everything should go to tender."

'Nothing to do with being open and transparent'

Coun. Joscelyne Landry-Altmann also called for a bidding process.

"If CRBE is the only application, than it makes it very simple," Landry-Altmann said.

"I've looked them up. They're very specialized; however, I as well do believe in the RFP process."

The resolution passed eight to three after the debate. 

"It's got nothing to do with being open and transparent, and giving everybody an opportunity to bid," Coun. Robert Kirwan said. 

"We've got to move these projects forward in this budget cycle. We cannot get into the next year or we know we're going beyond the next election."

Moving forward in the 'right manner'

Coun. Mark Signoretti quickly shot back at Kirwan. 

"I don't appreciate the lecture," Signoretti said.

"I want to move the projects forward just as much as any one else, but it's also [about] doing it in the right manner."

With the resolution, city council also agreed to move plans for a new combined main library-art gallery, and the synergy centre forward to the site selection process.

City staff will spend the next few months making respective location recommendations.

A final report is expected to go to be presented to city council on November 21.