There were five bids submitted by contractors who want to build Orchard City's new "cold storage" building that will be located on the town hall grounds.
With sale of its storage building at Eckert last week, the town has netted about $80,000 for the project.
The five bids were opened on March 5 and ranged from a high of $93,590 to a low of $68,230.
The low bid was submitted by Volgamore Construction. The owner, Chris Volgamore, is the son of Town Trustee Ken Volgamore.
At a March 6 work session, trustees discussed the possibility of awarding the construction contract to the close relative of a town board member.
Before the trustees' discussion began, Ken Volgamore disclosed that Chris was his son, and that if Chris' low bid is accepted by the town board at its regular March 13 meeting that he, Ken, would be working on the project with his son. Ken has been a custom home builder here for many years.
Ken left the meeting and was not present for any of the other trustees' discussion that evening.
Mayor Don Suppes explained that the town's attorney had advised that there is nothing wrong or illegal with a town board member or his family benefiting from town business. The key element, Suppes said, is that all the bidding be conducted fairly and openly, and that Volgamore's connection with the town be fully disclosed, which has been done, he added.
Town staff said that Chris Volgamore himself picked up the bid documents for the project at town hall and that he also returned them himself.
The town board isn't allowed to make any official decisions at its work sessions. But members did discuss the project. None of the trustees expressed any reservations about a possible bid award to Volgamore Construction just as long as all the legalities had been attended to properly.
The low bid on the project, if accepted, would free up an additional $12,000 for use on other enhancements. The project has been designed as a "cold storage" metal building for keeping water line and other supplies.
With an additional $12,000 available for the project if the low bid is accepted, the possibility of adding electric service to the project was discussed. Electric service would allow improvements like electric-powered lifting equipment to be added in the future, trustees noted.
Trustees examined the five bids and noted that they were all comparable "apples to apples" proposals.
The town board is scheduled to make a decision on accepting a bid at its March 13 regular meeting. The board is not obligated to accept the low bid.blog comments powered by Disqus