Lone Bidder Gets Depot Street Project In Edgerton

The village of Edgerton has a contractor for the Depot Street project.

The council approved Ordinance 998 which authorizes the village administrator to take all action to complete the project.

Gerken Paving was awarded the bid ($218,408) as the best and lowest bid. It was also the only qualifying bid for the advertised request.

The selection angered Tod Schlachter of S & S Boring Ltd., of Bryan. His bid was $41,000 cheaper, but because he is not pre-certified by ODOT, his bid was disqualified.

Depot Street gets around 1,800 cars per day and needs reconstructing quickly. The project includes milling and resurfacing about 1,300 linear feet of the street. Additional work includes new curbs, storm structures, curb ramp construction as well as related work. Alternative bid were accepted for cured-in-place piping.

Later in the meeting during council comments, Chuck Wilson asked why the village with an ODOT-recommended contractor and not a local company. In his research, it appears few other communities use an ODOT-approved contractor for street project.

A representative from Poggemeyer, the engineers for the project, said his firm can hold the contractor’s feet to the fire. Also, using a contractor pre-approved by ODOT means that company is familiar with the state’s standards on construction and equipment.

Wilson understood the Depot Street project was a done deal, but wanted something that would force the council to look at local firms for the next time road work is required.

“We need to look at this a little more,” Wilson said. “In the future we need to look at the people we deal with and if they are bonded why not (let them) bid.”

Council member Troy Siebenaler said the bid council accepted will cost more and that flies in the face of the state’s message of being fiscally responsible.

“When I see a $41,000 difference, I ask ‘that’s fiscally responsible?’” Siebenaler said. “What is that gaining us?”

Wilson wondered what the village would do the next time.

Mayor Bowsher said in most cases the village would go with bonded contractors from the area. But the significance of the project required an extra level of protection.

“Eighteen hundred cars go down that road every day,” Bowsher said. “There may not be a next time.”

For Greg Jennings the issue is Depot Street is a big project and that requires the right contractor.

“I would rather spend the extra money now and get it done properly,” Jennings said.

The key to only having one acceptable bid is the village chose an option to have the project completed according to ODOT standards and that means using only a contractor on the pre-approved list.

Poggemeyer’s representative said the firm only presented it as a option, they made no recommendations.

In other news, the council approved a motion allowing the village to join a five-community consortium for a solar purchase power. The village’s share would be $1,200

Village Administrator Dawn Fitzcharles, Mayor Lance Bowsher and another person traveled to Findlay for more information.

The council agreed to hire Trevor Lawson as a part-time maintenance person. He will work 28 hours a week at $13 an hour. Lawson was the best person interviewed.

While he does not have a wealth of experience, the village can call for help from the Electrical Department.

The village will be audited May 10-11. This will be the last year the village is contracted with Perry and Associates.

The village is on target for the general fund, expenses and revenues, Fiscal Officer Denise Knecht said.

After an executive session, the council decided to give Police Officer Griffin a raise to $22 an hour.

James Pruitt may be reached at publisher@thevillagereporter.com

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