Bids for public safety center disappointing
The Moffat County Public Safety Center project has run into a glitch. Bids from the two remaining contractors vying for the project have come in and both are not what the Moffat County Board of Commissioners wanted to see.
The two firms came in with bids that were either higher than county offiicals expected or didn’t include everything officials wanted in the project.
PCL Construction Services, a contractor from Denver, came in with an initial bid of about $8.7 million $700,000 higher than the county intended to spend. Sahara Inc., a contractor from West Bountiful, Utah, came in with two separarte bids of $8 million and $7.3 million, but the bids did not include exactly what the Board Commissioners and Public Safety Center Work Group wanted, according to James Robertson, safety center project manager.
“Sahara Inc. did reconfigure some of the layout,” said Robertson. Robertson said the bid was several thousand square feet less than the original plan.
The work group will take an extra week to come up with its recommendation to the Board of Commissioners on which firm to choose.
“We’re taking a much stronger look at these bids,” said Robertson. “We need to identify exactly what these bids include … The county has some concerns with each of the proposals, that is why we’re taking the additional week.”
Commissioners were disappointed with the bids, but still believe they can get the facility they want.
“I’m disappointed at the bids we got,” said Commissioner T. Wright Dickinson. “We’re still quite confident that the project can still be completed for the cost that we planned on. We’re trying to reason how we can accomplish that. Jim (Robertson) and the board are exploring some options to how we can get back in the budget.”
Commissioner Joe Janosec believes the boom in the construction market has something to do with the high bids.
“I think we’re faced with a situation where it is a builder’s market,” said Janosec. “I think that we can still build it within our budget and get what we want.”
Commissioners said one of the ways they are planning to resolve the situation is to bring another firm into the bidding process. G.E. Johnson, a contractor from Denver, is being asked to come forward with a last-second bid to find out if they can produce a better plan.
According to Robertson, everyone involved with the project still believes they will be able to break ground this fall.
“It is the strong intent that the site development occurs this fall. That is why we’re very aware of the time,” said Robertson. “When you’re spending $10 million of the taxpayers’ money you need to make sure you’re making good decisions. On the whole scale of things one week is not a big deal.”
The Public Safety Center Work Group will make its recommendation to the Board of Commissioners on which firm to choose by Oct. 11.