2nd Set Of Buffalo St. Bids Still High

(Carli Luca / News Now Warsaw)

A second round of bids didn’t produce any better results Friday for the Buffalo Street Plaza project when the bids were opened at the Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety meeting.

At the June 21 Board of Works meeting, the sole bid from R. Yoder Construction Inc., Nappanee, for $1,996,692 was rejected by the board due to the amount. City Planner Jeremy Skinner said then that the bid was about half a million dollars more than the cost estimate for the project was.

The project was reworked and rebid and the new bids were opened Friday. They included a total base bid of $2,267,917.43 from Yoder Construction; $2,511,264.30 from Selge Construction Co. Inc.; and $3,236,502.28 from Hamilton Hunter Builders Inc.

The engineer’s estimate for the project was $1.85 million.

Skinner recommended the bids be taken under advisement to be studied and he’ll provide the Board of Works with his recommendation at the board’s next meeting. Board members Jeff Grose and George Clemens approved his recommendation, with Mayor Joe Thallemer absent from Friday’s meeting.

After the meeting, Skinner said he felt “terrible” about the new bids, but wasn’t surprised. From what he’s hearing, project bids all over for various projects are coming in way higher than projected. He cited an example of the county rejecting all three bids for the Husky Trail bridge project Tuesday because those bids came in 25-50% higher than the engineer’s estimate. Skinner said he was not sure why bids were coming in higher than expected, if that was a labor issue or what.

In other business, the Board of Works approved:

• A pay application for $654,337.22 for HRP Construction Inc. for construction concerning the Airport Industrial Park sewer project. Skinner said it’s a Redevelopment Authority project, and the Redevelopment Authority gave the Board of Works the authority to approve the pay applications for it. The project is expected to be completed in August 2020.

• A service agreement with Reality-Based Leadership, Elkhorn, Neb., for $10,000 for citywide employee development and training, as requested by Human Resources Director Jennifer Whitaker. The HR department is paying for the training out of its budget.

The training will take place Feb. 3 at Center Lake Pavilion. Speaker will be Alex Dorr.

The city has over 200 employees, so the training equals to about $50 per employee, Whitaker said.

“I heard them speak. They’re very good, very good,” Whitaker said.

A $5,000 deposit must be paid upfront for the creation of materials for the training.

Clerk-Treasurer Lynne Christiansen said, “I never like to pay for anything before the service or product is delivered.”

“Doesn’t mean we can’t. I’m in favor of it. They have to develop our booklets, if you will,” Whitaker said.

• A pay application for $1,369 for preliminary engineering services for the Lincoln neighborhood sidewalk project. Warsaw Senior Planner Justin Taylor said the project is being funded from an “80/20 grant” the city received from the Indiana Department of Transportation, which means the city pays 100% of the bill and INDOT reimburses the city 80% of the cost.

• A pay application for $15,879.86 for Structurepoint for preliminary engineering design for the Anchorage Road project. The amount is being split, with $8,469.40 coming from the Redevelopment Northern/Eastern TIF and $7,410.46 from Economic Development Income Tax. Skinner said it’s also an 80/20 INDOT project, so INDOT will reimburse 80% of the cost.

• A 60-month lease for a postage meter from Pitney Bowes Global Financial Services for $580.56 annually, as requested from Warsaw Police Department Chief Scott Whitaker.

• For the street department to enter into an agreement with EnVue Telematics for vehicle assessment management software. Street Superintendent Jeff Beeler said it’s GPS tracking for vehicles. Twenty-five units will be purchased for $3,525 and the asset management service is for $8,400. Beginning in 2021, the annual service will be $8,400.

• Two claims of $1,170 each from NV Grant Services for wastewater/sewer plant expansion monitoring, as requested by Utilities Superintendent Brian Davison.

• A claim of $50,031 for Wessler Engineering for sewer plant expansion oversight, as requested by Davison.

• A claim of $10,433 for Wessler Engineering for sewer rehabilitation.