City rescinds bid approval
Work session scheduled to discuss next options for sewer interceptor project
The Basehor City Council rescinded a bid offer to Miles Excavating for construction of the Kansas Highway 24/40 sewer interceptor project during its meeting Monday, Dec. 16.
Council members went into executive session to discuss the offer because of concerns over "legal issues" regarding the bid, city officials said.
When the meeting was reconvened, the City Council unanimously approved rescinding the offer, because of Kansas Department of Health and Environment regulations, city officials said.
"We will have to reconsider our actions at a later meeting," Basehor Mayor Joseph Scherer said.
A work session was scheduled for Dec. 30, and council members reserved the right to take action on the item during that meeting.
The interceptor project will run from the Basehor Wastewater Treatment Facility to the highway and connect with developments south of the highway, along County Road 2.
The line would also run east along the highway to 150th Street and connect with developments.
Thirteen bids were received for the project when it was let in October.
John Bran, of Ponzer Youngquist, reported to city officials the three lowest bidders were researched for validity and were businesses in good standing.
Although Miles submitted just the eighth lowest cost for the project -- approximately $1.1 million -- the City Council awarded the bid to the local company in November.
The decision raised concerns from local residents and business owners, who questioned the integrity of the bid process.
Wilson Plumbing submitted the least expensive cost for the project at $836,000.
By choosing Miles and bypassing Wilson, the city is spending an extra $217,000, opponents said.
Don Moore, a Wilson Plumbing representative, addressed the City Council Monday night and said his company could handle the sewer interceptor job.
"We've bid a lot of municipal work," Moore said.
He also questioned why his company was not awarded the bid initially.
"The way the system is supposed to work is when you're the low bidder you get the work. That didn't work here.
"My question for the City Council is why they skipped the low bidder?"
Council members did not respond to Moore's question.
The interceptor project is funded through a state revolving loan and a benefit district consisting of nearby property owners. By law, cities do not have to accept the lowest bids for projects where state funds are used.
However, the cost differential between the low bid for the project and the bid awarded could have been addressed by KDHE when the project is reviewed.
KDHE officials said city officials would have had to supply sufficient explanation for their decision.
However, developer Steve Cole, who is building Prairie Lakes, a subdivision on 150th Street, said his development needs the interceptor line.
"We have a number of houses coming online that need to be on service," Cole said.
"I guess I'm wanting to know who absorbs the cost because of delays," he said.
Basehor city officials said the interceptor project isn't delaying Cole's development and running a temporary line to the development has been discussed.
"I don't feel we're hampering him in any way," Basehor City Superintendent Gene Myracle said.
"I don't feel that's a true statement that the city is holding him up," he added.
Bran said the most likely start date for construction of the project is early February.