Knox Board of Works Members Consider Bids for Blighted Structure on Pearl Street

Some confusion over bid specifications led to drastically different offers being opened at the Knox Board of Works meeting on Monday.

The bids were for demolition work on the blighted structure at 202 N. Pearl Street.

The first bid that was opened came in from Jackson Truck and Excavating and it was for $33,900. The second bid was from Mark Milo Enterprises for $14,900. The reason for the difference was that Jackson included the price for asbestos removal, while Milo did not.

Harvey Jackson mentioned that he was under the impression that you weren’t allowed to submit a change order after the bid. Since the specifications included that asbestos was on the property, he added the cost of removal to his total bid.

With the Blight Elimination projects, city officials have been working with Rosie Levya, the Project Manager of Neighborhood Development. Mayor Dennis Estok asked Levya about what’s typically done in a situation like this.

After consulting with a colleague over the phone, she said they confirmed that the original bid documentation stated that the bid was only supposed to include projected demolition costs and the cost for asbestos testing.

She was advised to have the contractor resubmit the bid without the asbestos removal. Jackson’s bid came in at $13,500. However, she said this was a predicament, as he was aware of the other bid. She said they could also re-bid the project to avoid any issues.

Rather than awarding the bid during the meeting, Mayor Estok said the fairest thing to do was to reject the bids that were presented and re-advertise with the requirements more clearly stated. Bidders will need to break down their bid to include the specific cost for demolition, another cost for asbestos testing and removal and then the total overall cost.

Member Jim Collins asked if they were allowed to not accept the bids. Levya assured him that they have the authority to reject bids if more information is required. Board of Works members then unanimously voted to reject the presented bids and to advertise the project again.

Levya said the process of re-advertising and accepting new bids will take about 2 weeks. This matter will be readdressed at their next meeting.