McMinnville officials voted Tuesday night to give the North Chancery Street paving project to APAC-Harrison Inc.
A lower bid from Highways Inc. was rejected.
Water and Sewer Committee members Rick Barnes and Jimmy Haley voted to reject Highways and award the project to APAC. Later that night, the full board consisting of Mayor Norman Rone, Vice Mayor Everett Brock, Aldermen Clair Cochran, Junior Medley, Barnes and Haley voted unanimously in favor of APAC. Alderman Billy Wood was absent from both meetings.
The decision was made after city officials were informed by project engineer Anthony Pelham how much lower Highways’ re-bid was in comparison to its original bid — $70,000 less.
“We didn’t release the original number presented because we did not want to create an unfair bidding situation,” said Pelham. “There is, essentially, a $70,000 reduction.”
The original contract between the two was to widen and pave the road for $998,000. A change order reduced the scope of the work to paving only and Highways presented an adjusted cost of approximately $225,000.
At that time, Pelham informed the board he felt the adjustment was in excess of $20,000 more than what it should be and officials made the decision to cancel the contract and re-bid the project.
Three bids were received ranging from $155,000 to $194,000. Submitting the lowest bid was Highways Inc. with $155,535. APAC-Harrison Inc. bid $160,443 and Tinsley Asphalt LLC bid $194,715.
Pelham says Highways still wants $20,000 to terminate the original contract between it and the city to widen North Chancery Street.
As instructed by city officials, Pelham requested an itemized list of damages in an effort to negotiate the price down to $10,000. He has yet to receive a list.
“They are reluctant in providing a breakdown regarding the cancellation fee,” Pelham said. “They are justifiably owed something, but not $20,000.”
Pelham recommended to Water and Sewer Committee members they accept the bid from Highways and make the agreement contingent upon Highways cancellation fee for the original contract not to exceed $10,000.
“If you put a contingency on there, you need to place a very short turnaround time,” said city administrator David Rutherford. “Don’t just leave it.”
Members of the committee had a different idea.
“I would like to see APAC get this contract,” said Barnes. “APAC’s bid is only $5,000 more than Highways.”
Medley added, “They are a local business.”
Pelham says going with APAC would not resolve the $20,000 contract cancellation fee requested by Highways. The city could pay $20,000 and be done with it or could continue to request an itemized list in an effort to negotiate the cost.
“I make a motion we reject the bid from Highways and accept APAC’s bid,” said Barnes.
Haley added, “I haven’t been reassured that going with APAC won’t drag this out any longer.”
According to Pelham, it will take him a day to change the paperwork and present a revised contract accepting the bid from APAC. It should be signed by both parties by the end of this week.
Going with APAC may push the project past the 30-day turnaround time previously given of July 14 by Highways Inc. The number came from the engineer after discussions with Highways.
“By the contract, they will have 60 days to complete the work,” said Pelham. “I did have a discussion with both Highways and APAC that the work should begin no later than July 4 and should be completed before school begins. Neither one had a problem with that.”
Pelham will keep the board updated as to the situation between it and Highways as it pertains to canceling the original contract.