Bid Issues Delay Lincoln Neighborhood Sidewalk Project

The Lincoln neighborhood sidewalk project will go out to bid for a third time in January after issues with the previous two.

City Planner Justin Taylor presented a contract amendment with The Troyer Group for $8,250 to the Warsaw Board of Public Works and Safety Friday for additional work undertaken by the project engineer.

“This was made necessary because of the need to bid out this project multiple times due to an unawardable bid and then a rejected bid. The additional demand that we put on our project engineer, the time spent resubmitting all the documents to INDOT (Indiana Department of Transportation), that’s what the change order reflects,” Taylor explained.

Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer asked him if he had any updates on when the project would be rebid. Taylor said it was in January and they were gearing up for that now.

“We submitted all the documents, the right-of-way is clear with utilities, so things are moving forward, we continue to make progress. It’s just we’ve got to have an awardable bid,” Taylor said.

Thallemer asked him to provide a brief synopsis of the bidding history on the project.

Taylor said earlier this year, they were on schedule to hit their first bid date and a bid was received. The bid was “well over” what INDOT and the city had allotted for the project. It wasn’t awardable according to INDOT’s regulations so the project had to be rebid.

INDOT allowed for more funds for the project for the next bidding cycle because they knew the cost wasn’t going to go down any time soon, Taylor said.

The second time, the bid came in a little bit higher but it wasn’t awardable according to INDOT’s regulations because of a technical issue. “Our sole bidder on the second round wasn’t able to meet the requirements, so that bid ultimately was rejected. Not because of exceeding the contract amount, but just one of the regulations INDOT has for their bidders,” Taylor said.

After that second bid was rejected, he said they had to “push it down the road” to the next bidding cycle and that’s where they’re at now.

“It’s been very frustrating. Justin’s done a great job for almost five years now trying to get this project (done). It was awarded four years ago,” Thallemer said, but projects’ costs are coming in high.

“It became frustrating because we only had one bidder, and even the second time the bid came in a little higher than the first time, and now we’re going to have to go to a third time because, as he said, a technicality in the bidder’s requirements,” Thallemer said. “We actually appealed that, and INDOT held fast, so now we’ll have to bid it again and INDOT will probably have to come up with some more money.”

He said the city is very frustrated, but it’s committed to the project.

“This is a Lincoln School project for sidewalk and getting kids to school safely. We will get this project done despite the challenges that have confronted us,” Thallemer said, thanking Taylor for his patience.

The Board unanimously approved the contract amendment.

INDOT is paying for 80% of the project, which originally was slated to be completed by 2022. It includes updating sidewalks and creating new ones to improve safety for students around Lincoln Elementary.

The Board also approved a pay application request for $482,085.59 from GM Development Inc. for the Warsaw Park and Recreation Department’s maintenance and administration building, as requested by city engineer Aaron Ott.

“They have completed work well above this value. This number is intentional because it’s what we’ve appropriated as our ability to pay, but because of the method of contracting we followed here, we’re able to defer payment of the other costs,” Ott explained, recommending the amount be paid.

Councilman Jeff Grose asked if there was $2.2 million remaining, and Ott said that was correct and that was an amount not to exceed.

“We’re contemplating using a bond next year in conjunction with another project,” Thallemer said. “But there’s obviously things that will occur that we need to figure out how that’s going to work. But that’s the idea. At the end of the day, it could be financed, which is part of the BOT (Build Operate Transfer) process by the Greg Martz Development. The city could come up with some more cash, or we could roll it up into a bond. So the flexibility of the BOT process is a big part of why we’ve chosen that. This was money that we had set aside for this and this obviously is going to reduce our debt, if you will, if we go to a bond or Greg Martz finances it, and we know pretty much what our numbers are now.”

He said this was money set aside in this year’s budget to go toward the project.

In other business, the Board approved:

• The sole bid for microsurfacing and crack sealing from Pavement Solutions, Middletown, for the Warsaw Public Works Department. The bid for microsurfacing is $4.89 per square yard, while the crack sealing component is $1.30 per pound.

• A sales agreement with Novotx for $27,000 for ElementsXS implementation as requested by the city’s IT Governance Committee.

• A service agreement between the city and Schneider Geospatial to improve communication between the city and county GIS mapping systems. Cost is $331 for Dec. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022; and $3,972 for 2023.

• Accepting a Comprehensive Hoosier Highways Injury Reduction Program (CHIRP) grant for the Warsaw Police Department in the amount of $15,200.

• The annual interlocal agreement between Kosciusko County and the city for $31,500 for the countywide data management system (Central Square), as requested by WPD Chief Scott Whitaker. This is the 12th or 13th year for the agreement, Whitaker said, but the first year he’s aware of an increase. The cost went up $1,500 from last year.

• An agreement with Pro Air Midwest LLC for police and fire air tanks to be NFPA?compliant, as requested by Whitaker. The cost to WPD?is $1,300, and the fire department’s cost is $2,788.

• Pay application No. 4 for $1,158.50 for G & G Hauling & Excavating Inc. for the Center Lake restoration project, as requested by Stormwater Utility Superintendent Brian Davison. He said the project is complete and this was the final pay app to close the project out.

• Pay application No. 4 for $10,747.14 for G & G for the reconstruction of Country Club Lane and Country Club Lane Extension intersection section, as requested by Davison.

Pay application No. 5 for the same project for $43,529.38 to G & G also was approved. Davison said it was for “essentially paying out their retainage. They have completed everything.”

• The Stormwater and Wastewater 2023 budget guidelines as presented by Davison.  The total for Stormwater is $1,215,305.92; and the total for Wastewater is $8,800,892.

• The agreement between the city and Ceres Solutions Cooperative for the on-road diesel, off-road diesel and 90 clear gasoline prices as bidded. Sealed bids were opened and approved at the Nov. 4 Board of Works meetings.

• For the Street Department to purchase a used 2012 International 4000 Series dump truck with a Boss snowplow and Monroe salt spreader from the town of Milford for $50,000, as requested by Superintendent Dustin Dillon It has 12,376 miles on it.

• Dillon’s request for the Street Department to purchase a 2023 side load garbage truck through Sourcewell for $248,178 after the trade-in of a 2016 Peterbilt side load truck.