Archive for Thursday, January 2, 2003

Interceptor project bid delayed

January 2, 2003

The situation surrounding construction of the city's Kansas Highway 24/40 sewer interceptor line became even more muddied Monday night as city officials met in a work session to discuss bid approval for the project.

The interceptor line, a long-planned city 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.

The project was placed on hold Monday night as city officials wait to here from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on whether a previous bid is acceptable.

The next scheduled action on the project will take place at the City Council meeting in January.

"We've got to come to a decision," City Council President Julian Espinoza said. "I don't want to take it any further than that."

But reopening the bid process for the project is also possible, city officials said.

"The only thing I would vote for (at Monday's meeting) is a re-bid," council member Joe Odle said.

The bid for the interceptor line was previously awarded to Miles Excavating. City officials said Miles was chosen because the company does good work and is familiar with the area.

"Ultimately the decision was what's best for the city," Basehor Mayor Joseph Scherer said. "The name doesn't have anything to do with it. It's what's best for the city."

However, the bid to Miles was rescinded earlier this month because of possible problems with KDHE regulations, city officials said.

The bid was awarded to Miles, which bid the project at approximately $1.055 million in November. Wilson Plumbing bid the project at $836,000.

Wilson Plumbing representative David Belcher said his company was qualified for the job.

"We've been in business for over 55 years and it's work we've always been involved with," Belcher said. "We feel we're more than qualified to do the job."

City officials said Wilson's qualifications weren't questioned.

But the low bid raised a flag as to whether change orders and additional costs for the project would come later if Wilson was chosen.

"If you're company can do it for $836,000 I want a signed contract," Odle said. "I don't care about any change orders. That company will just have to eat it."

Miles guaranteed no change orders.

"I'm the only one that got with the city and found out what the city wanted," Miles said.

"I do guarantee there won't be any change orders," he added.

Belcher said his company needs the job to keep its employees busy in a down time.

"Our goal was to keep our people busy and make a buck if we can," he said.

For now, the council has options concerning the bid: they can wait for a response from KDHE concerning the bid awarded, make a decision at the January meeting or reopen the bid altogether.

But there is some question as to how the bid was let and what specifications were submitted by the developers. Odle said the best option is to reopen the process.

"I don't agree with the way it was let," he said.

"There's too much inconsistency in it."

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