Craig City Council OKs water line replacement

In other action

At its Tuesday meeting, the Craig City Council also:

• Approved, 6-0, a renewal of the hotel and restaurant liquor license for the Galaxy Restaurant, 524 Yampa Ave.

• Approved, 6-0, a renewal of a tavern liquor license for the Popular Bar Inc., 24 W. Victory Way.

• Approved, 6-0, a special events permit for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 for April 16 at the Moffat County Pavilion for a retirement event.

• Approved, 6-0, an intergovernmental agreement between Craig and Moffat County for management of the Craig/Moffat County Airport.

• Approved, 6-0, nullification of a bid award for the purchase of special undercover surveillance equipment for the All Crimes Enforcement Team from Pro-Tech because of back order complications. Awarded bid to Specialty Vehicle Solutions for $8,285.

— On the heels of what Craig Public Works Director Bill Earley called a “huge” water line replacement project, the city will see more work done to its water lines.

At its Tuesday meeting, the Craig City Council approved, 6-0, to allocate $25,000 more in installation costs to replace 1055 feet of water line on Steele Street.

The contract is an extension to a previous contract with Mike Anson, of Anson Excavating, that the city approved by the City Council in August 2009.

The previous project spent more than $400,000 in energy impact grant and city water funds to replace old iron pipes with new PVC piping to carry drinking water to residents.

All of the water pipes have been installed and the project is waiting for a replacement of a concrete replacement pan on Washington Street and grass seeding on First Street.

While looking at future plans to pave Steele Street, Earley and Anson decided they would like to extend work on the water lines parallel to the street. They will finish the work before paving the street allowing the line to settle into the ground.

The Craig City Council approved the contract extension for Anson but with some hesitation from council members.

The water line work brought to light the issue of properly bidding out contracts for service to other companies for the city to select the lowest bidder.

Councilmember Jennifer Riley originally stated she felt the project needed to be put out to bid.

“I felt like we weren’t putting out a contract that should be bid, it was articulated by Bill Earley that it was only a $25,000 contract extension on a bid that is 10 months old,” she said. “I just don’t want the city to ever get complacent about bidding contracts.”

Riley said that she changed her position after the council discussed the bid’s actual price and the possibility of going to bid may drive an installation contract out of Craig.

“I don’t want it to appear that the city is favoring one contract over another,” she said.

Councilmember Terry Carwile felt the bid process for the extension was not necessary in this case.

“I see very little advantage to be gained from reinitiating the whole bid process for a bid that has come in so aggressive,” he said.

He also pointed to the importance of contracting with local labor and the council making exceptions to the bidding process in some cases.

“I think the council exercises very responsible discretion in terms of how they evaluate these things,” he said. “From my stand point … it just makes sense.”

Even though the council made an exception, Carwile still views the bidding process in a favorable light.

“The bid process is a very valuable thing,” he said. “But as a council, viewing that in the light of economic conditions and the plight of local business.”

“I’m not an absolutist,” he said.

Earley said the city will send out four informal bids for the materials needed to complete the project. He hopes the water lines can be replaced within three weeks after the bid for materials is approved.

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