Council Members Disagree on Future, Past of Plumbing Project
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/22/2012 -- Nothing is quick or easy at city hall, not even hiring a plumber, as Alderman, Sixth Ward, has learned in the last few months. His response to the current state of having the pipes in Des Plaines city hall replaced, it is “a mess”.
The city council voted 7-1 on Monday to reject a $188,350 bid by J&S Plumbing to undertake the project. Alderman Dick Sayad, Fourth Ward, was the lone dissenting vote.
Sayad remarked that because the original estimate had been revised, that the new bid was even lower than the original bid of $193,121. He asked public works director Tim Oakley, why “if the new bid was lower than the first one, and it reflected the corrections, why would we reject it?”
Oakley responded that, though the revised bid was lower, all bid received were higher than estimates for having city workers complete the project in-house, an estimated $175,000. The council had discovered that public-works employees should be able to complete he vast majority of the piping project at a savings over private contractors.
Any work city employees could not complete would be opened up to a third round of bidding sometime in 2013, the public works director added.
The original bid for replacing the piping at the Des Plaines city hall building was won by Bishop Plumbing in May. It was awarded by the council with a vote of 5-3, though some council members voiced concerns about Bishop.
The approved bid was later rejected because of reductions in the size and scope of the project, Oakley said.
Sayad asked the city manager, Michael Bartholomew, for copies of requests for proposals when they became available as the project moved forward, noting that he wanted to “see what’s going on here, because when I looked at these two here [earlier proposals], it just didn’t seem proper to me.” The Fourth Ward Alderman chided Oakley, saying “I just hope in the future before you put bids out you first evaluate whether you can do it.”
Fifth Ward Alderman James Brookman defended the changes and the revisions in the project, remarking “I don’t think there’s anything improper here.”
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