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|Abingdon Stimulus Project Hits a Snag
|POSTED: 4:09pm 8/4/09 A water project that officials in Abingdon have waited months to begin is being delayed after problems with the bids.
The city council back in March agreed to pursue federal stimulus money, in the form of a $250,000 no-interest loan from the Illinois EPA, to replace 1,200 residential water meters in town. Cities approved for the loans pay back 75 percent of the loan amount.
Engineer Steve Bruner told the city council Monday night that two companies submitted bids for the project. One, from Walker Excavating of Peoria, came in at $432,000 - or more than $200,000 over the estimated cost of the project. Professional Meters Inc. of Morris, IL turned in the other bid, which was in line with the estimate.
Bruner says the problem with the low bidder is the company didn't follow one of the specifications for stimulus money projects. "The main bidder was to award any sub-contract or even buy anything -- even purchase any materials for the project -- he was required to advertise for subcontracting opportunities to minority business enterprises," Bruner said. "The high bidder did do that. And they documented it in their bid. The low bidder did not."
Bruner says a representative from Professional Meters submitted a letter with the bid stating there was no way a minority business enterprise could participate in the project. The letter said the company planned to do all of the work itself and buy the meters from the only place that sells them. Bruner says the problem is Professional Meters didn't advertise for the purchase of meters and submit the documentation with the bid.
City Attorney Jack Ball also recommended rejecting the bids to avoid a potential protest from the high bidder or even a lawsuit, which would set the project back even more. The city council unanimously agreed with Bruner and Ball to reject the bids and resubmit the project in hopes that the EPA loan will still be available in the next 30 days.
|08 04 09 by Newsroom
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