A bidding snafu could put the freeze on a backup cooler for McMinnville Civic Center if the company awarded the project decides to not honor its bid.
According to McMinnville Parks and Recreation director Scott McCord, CHC Mechanical Contractors forgot to include a cost in its bid. However, the notice came after the city’s Parks and Recreation Committee met, reviewed the three bids, and unanimously awarded the project to CHC.
“CHC Mechanical contacted me shortly after we approved this,” said McCord. “They stated they needed to add a user’s tax to this. I sent an email to them stating they had two options, either withdraw their bid or honor their bid. I have yet to hear back from them.
The project is to remove and replace an existing nonworking closed-circuit cooler. The backup cooler has been off line for years. It is part of the facility’s geothermal system. If it gets too hot in the Civic Center, then this unit would kick on. It provides extra cooling and heating when necessary.
Three bids were received on the project. All three bidders met the minimum bid specifications. However, CHC Mechanical Contractors of Cookeville was the lowest offer at $99,500. The higher bids were $119,860 and $148,900.
At the time the bids were considered in committee, it was questioned why the other two bids were $20,000 and $50,000 more than the low bidder. McCord stated he did not know, however, he said the company had worked with the city before and knew the geothermal system, while the other two companies did not.
McCord recommended the board approve the bid at $99,500 and wait to see if the company will honor its bid.
“I think we should go ahead and approve the set amount they bid and that is the only amount of money that we will spend on anything that they provide us with. We won’t honor anything above the stated bid of $99,500,” said McCord.
City attorney Tim Pirtle agreed.
“My recommendation to the board would be to accept the bid,” said Pirtle. “The bid will be funded in compliance with the terms and conditions. I’m not sure what a user’s tax is or what the connotation of a user’s tax is. I am not familiar with that terminology, but there is a provision in the general specifications of the bid that allow for computing pricing, less federal and state taxes, so the bid amount would not include those taxes, according to my reading. I think it’s fair to accept the bid. We are accepting the terms and specifications as they are.”
Board members Mayor Jimmy Haley, Vice Mayor Ben Newman and Aldermen Mike Neal, Jimmy Bonner, Ryle Chastain, Steve Harvey and Everett Brock approved the bid from CHC in the amount of $99,500.