City Council approves more than $92K in project bids for Water Plant, Wastewater Treatment Plant
After much consternation and debate about a project bid from Faultless Fusion out of Clifton, City Council approved two full project bids Tuesday night, totaling nearly $93,000 in fees that will go towards replacing a Motor Control Center at the Water Treatment Plant, and a Handrail Replacement Project at the Wastewater Treatment Plan.
In a memo to city council, Water and Wastewater Director Mark Sollenberger recommended that council award the bid for the Motor Control Center panel at the water plant to Ducey Electric at $46,837.37. According to Sollenberger’s memo, the Motor Control Center project was a 2020 capital budgeted water project, which was estimated to cost $250,000.
Ducey’s bid was not the lowest bid, Carl Ray from the Water and Wastewater Department said during Tuesday’s meeting, citing R&A Enterprises as the lowest bidder. However, Ray said that the company had a number of exclusions in their bid, which could get pretty pricey after the fact.
Councilman Chris Nichols asked Ray if it was typical for bids to come in with numerous exclusions like R&A Enterprise sent in.
“No, I think that’s atypical for us to see that many exclusions,” Ray said.
Exclusions in bids for the Water and Wastewater Department projects became a lengthy topic of discussion following the approval of the Motor Control Center as council moved onto the Handrail Replacement Project at the Wastewater Treatment Plan.
According to Ray, the Water and Wastewater Department received just two bids back, which created a sizeable difference in the two bids from Power Source Services and Faultless Fusion.
“We’re concerned that if we approve the bid to the lowest bidder, we’re going to see a number of change orders and a lot of add-ons to the project, which could get very expensive,” Ray said. “Again, there’s quite a lengthy list of exclusions in these bids.”
Councilman Tony Bohrer was very concerned with the $18,000 difference in bids between the two companies.
“I mean, we’re talking about building handrails, not structures here,” Bohrer said. “So, I would like to know what the exclusions are because handrails aren’t complicated.”
Ray told councilors that one of the specifications for the project in Power Source Services’ bid would be that the contractors work four 10-hour shifts, which would go directly against what workers at the water plant work now, which is five 8-hour shifts.
“That would change our staffing requirements and force us to have someone there later for safety,” Ray said. “They excluded removal of materials too, so we’d have to provide a dumpster for them. There’s just a lot of exclusions that could really create problems down the line.”
Ray added that the water plant had worked with Faultless Fusion in the past on the Barclay Tank Rehabilitation earlier this year.
Mayor Ogden and Councilman Bohrer were a bit hung up on the potential of going with a company that was non-local (Fusion), compared to keeping business in town with PSS.
“You guys know how I feel about local versus non-local,” Bohrer said. “I feel like if they’re making change orders and adding things, it’s not on them; it’s on us for allowing them to have those exits out.
“When I bid a job and I’m specific in there, I can’t come back and make a change order…unless there’s a loophole in your bid system that allows this.”
“Tony, I’ll agree with you about trying to use local businesses, if at all possible,” Ogden added. “The part that gives me heartburn with this is that they got a bid packet and bid however they wanted to. I don’t think they covered all that they were supposed to…I just think we have to be careful with some of those exclusions because that could get expensive.”
Following an additional 10 minutes of discussion regarding the bid from PSS, council voted to approve the bid to Faultless Fusion in the amount of $46,036.
Councilman Bohrer, Councilman Nichols, and Councilman Ryan Hess voted against the approval of the bid to Faultless Fusion, which passed by a 4-3 vote.
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