Sunday, March 11, 2012

Monday, March 12 Agenda Item # 8 Competitive BIDDING or Amending Contracts?

Hi All,
Running out of time before the 7 pm Monday, March 12 Board of Trustees meeting.  This blog will discuss:

Agenda item # 8:   Safety Path/Out Lot Mowing Contract Amendment
The Board Packet for March 12.....see pp. 101 - 108 for this agenda item

The current contractor has a three year signed contract to perform mowing work on the safety paths and at out lots at the township that began in 2011.    That company was awarded the three year job because the originally awarded contractor said he bid the job too cheap in 2010 and wanted out of the contract.  Was there a performance bond and did that company lose that bond money at the end of 2010?

Instead of putting the mowing job/contract back out for bids in 2011, the township awarded the job to the second bidder from the 2010 bidders list.  I believe that company was to post a performance bond when he signed the contract.  Did he?

Now, in 2012, that lucky contractor that got that 2011 job on an old 2010 bid has reported to the township that basically they did not bid enough money to do the job and needs more money.  So, the township says, we have a good working relationship with this company, so OK.  Let's have the township attorneys draw up a contract AMENDMENT.  The township asks the contractor, how much more do you want per acre?  The contractor gives a new dollar figure per acre and the township agrees.  The township then tries to justify an amended contract by noting that the next 2010 bidder was more than double that figure.  Two years ago.   Another way to try and justify the amended contract was by adding three fire station grassy areas and an out lot on Golf Road to the contract.  Oh, and there is more acreage now because of more safety paths built in 2011.  Adding more areas to cut, just gave the contractor more money, even at the old price/acre.  But does that deserve RAISING the cost/acre on a fixed contract for the reason stated:  he bid too low?

Bids were requested in 2010 and the job was divided and awarded to three different contractors.
In 2010 one contractor got the mowing part of the contract.  United Landscape quit after one year. Not enough $$.
In 2010, Birmingham Lawn got part of the contract for spraying out lots.  I assume that is still in effect. This same contractor was handed the mowing job in 2011. So this company has two contracts with the township  and is the one who is the subject of this agenda item and asking for more $$$.
In 2010, the other "winning" bidder for part of the work was...GUESS!  Our own township employees.

They travel along all the safety paths and do trimming of branches, etc. and pick up sticks in advance of someone else doing the mowing.

Did you know there is a BUILDING and GROUNDS Department at the Township?  The budget is almost a million dollars.  Check out how much is personnel costs: $607,500 just the first 6 line items.  Go further down to line item # 934.  The township PAYS OTHERS to do work such as mowing and spraying.  Budget:  $100,000.  Why do we have this department? Does this department have mowers?   Eliminate this department and contract out all work done by these employees to private companies. It will certainly save the taxpayer in wages, benefits and pensions.  See p. 12 of the board packet for this chart.  By the way, the Road Department also has a line item # 934...more contracted out building and grounds work for $15,000.

Bottom Line:  Agenda Item # 8.....Do not adjust the price per acre in the contract.  Do add more acres to the contract  if you feel that it is necessary.  If the contractor does not want to have additional work, ask the firemen to continue cutting the grass around their station.  Or, offer the contractor an amendment to his contract ONLY FOR THE NEW ACREAGE at the new requested  price/acre and identify HOW MANY acres is in that new portion in the amendment.

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