October 13, 2015
Last Thursday (10/8/15) at 4:15pm, Robert Jordan, Monticello’s engineer, opened bids for the paving and related improvements to Towee St. There were two sealed bids submitted.
Bid 1 was from Northeast Concrete of Macon, GA. The bid was $61,699 and $54,759 with “deduct #1”.
Bid 2 was from Russell Bennett Construction of Monticello, GA. The bid was $57,050. However, there were some questions about this bid and what it did not contain.
It was very hard for Mr. Jordan to find exactly what the bid amount was from Russell Bennett Construction; in fact, he looked through the papers submitted 3 times to find the amount. There was no bid summary sheet as required in Section 3-Bid Submittal Contents, which states “shall include all of the following information.” Mr. Jordan also stated that there was no “deduct #1” as required. “Deduct #1”, according to Mr. Jordan, was a bid for the job without the sidewalk sections.
Mr. Jordan said he would give a recommendation to the City Council at their meeting Tuesday, October 13, but of course the council could vote for whichever bid they choose, based on who they thought best would represent their needs.
HISTORY OF TOWEE STREET PROJECT
In August 2012, Russell Bennett came before both the Jasper County Commission and Monticello City Council with plans showing the expansion of the Baptist Church parking lot. The parking lot would have an entrance/exit at Towee St. at the “elbow” in the street below the liquor store. He assured the BOC that this would cost nothing, but the church wanted the commissioners blessing. He also stated that this would provide more parking spaces for people with business at the courthouse.
In April 2015 the project name changed from the Baptist Church Parking Lot Proposal to the Towee Street Project on the BOC agenda; the item was tabled. Instead of costing nothing, there has been a GDOT grant obtained for 70% of the project, up to $55,000 with the City picking up the 30% match. However, the City wants the County to pay 1/2 of the match. In this instance, that would be about $9000 each.
Rep. Susan Holmes sold 6.3 acres behind the “7-11” to the Baptist Church on 2/19/13 which will facilitate this project; she has also helped to get the GDOT grant to get the project done.
After the October 5, 2015 meeting, both Comm. Trammell and Comm. Pennamon said the BOC had not voted on the Towee St. funding, even though the Mayor said at the September City Council meeting the BOC had agreed to the project.
Three questions arise from this project:
- Does Mr. Bennett represent both the Baptist Church and his company with this bid?
- Will the low bid be awarded despite the fact the bid requirements were not all met?
- Is the low bid for the entire project or not?
By the way, how many County roads has the City helped to fund?