$338K for infrastructure projects approved | CraigDailyPress.com
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$338K for infrastructure projects approved

City Council discusses preference for local companies during bids

Collin Smith

In other action

At its Tuesday meeting, the Craig City Council:

• Approved, 7-0, contributing $4,434 to the Craig/Moffat County Airport to repave its front parking lot.

• Approved, 7-0, a site plan for a commercial development on the old Country Mall site at 356 Ranney St., now known as Behrman Plaza.

• Approved, 7-0, reappointing Paul Gowdy to the Craig Board of Appeals.

In other action

At its Tuesday meeting, the Craig City Council:

• Approved, 7-0, contributing $4,434 to the Craig/Moffat County Airport to repave its front parking lot.

• Approved, 7-0, a site plan for a commercial development on the old Country Mall site at 356 Ranney St., now known as Behrman Plaza.

• Approved, 7-0, reappointing Paul Gowdy to the Craig Board of Appeals.

The Craig City Council approved, 7-0, bids for three local infrastructure projects that totaled $338,817 at its meeting Tuesday.

The council spent about 15 minutes discussing one of the bids, which was given to a local company instead of to the lowest bidder.

The city awarded Craig-based Osmun $36,952.40 for curb and gutter replacements, although Osmun’s bid was $1,828.60 more than a bid from BPS Concrete, which is based in Grand Junction.

Tad Osmun, an owner in Osmun, attended the council meeting but did not speak.

Councilor Joe Herod said it’s not right for the city to choose an outside company instead of a local one when bid prices are so close. There was a 4.9 percent difference between Osmun’s and BPS’ bids.

“My concern with this, if we let the bid go out of town, we’re sending the money out of town,” Herod said.

The city should support local businesses, he added, and in turn will reap certain benefits, such as circulating capital within the community and having a company that can be on call to respond to any future issues.

A Grand Junction company probably won’t be able to respond as fast to a problem as a local one, Herod said.

Councilor Byron Willems and City Engineer Bil Earley said they agreed the city should give local companies preference but worried the council might send the wrong message by not awarding the low bid.

Earley suggested the council write a formal policy, such as giving contracts to local companies if they’re within 5 percent of a lower bid from an outside business.

“If we start doing this, then out-of-town companies are not going to bid our work anymore,” he said.

Earley added that the city’s bid requests state nothing about a local preference and that BPS spent money to travel to Craig, look at the project and put together a bid packet.

“Companies should know what they’re getting into,” he said.

Herod and other councilors disagreed.

“That’s part of being in business,” Herod said.

Mayor Don Jones asked Earley to draft some potential criteria the city could include in bid requests. The engineer said Wednesday he had not starting writing anything formal.

The night’s largest bid went to Steamboat Springs-based Connell Resources, which was awarded $250,000 for asphalt and road overlays this summer on a few streets north of Centennial Mall and on Barclay Street from Victory Way to the sandrocks.

Both asphalt bids were higher than budgeted, Earley said. He didn’t know why but speculated it had something to do with a refinery in Grand Junction closing, which constricted the regional supply.

Connell’s bid actually totaled $17,259 more than the city approved spending, but Earley said there wasn’t enough money in the budget to spend the overage.

“We’ll do the best we can, and that’s what you do,” said Randy Call, road and bridge director. “If we can’t stretch the money out, we’ll end up a block short somewhere.”

The bid was awarded instead of one from Elam Construction, which has an office in Craig. Elam’s bid came in $14,486 more, or 5.4 percent.

The council also approved money for construction materials, about half of which will go to road maintenance within town.

The bid went to Craig-based 3 B Enterprises for $51,865. It was the lowest bid submitted.


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