By Myrna Trauntvein
All was properly noticed, and it was time to award bids on the Mona City cemetery expansion project.
Bids on the cemetery expansion project could not be opened two weeks ago, as planned, because, although the bids were on the table, the bid opening had not been placed on the agenda as an item and, therefore, the process could not be handled legally.
The two bids received, because of close friendships with both bidders, made a bit of a problem for Mike Stringer, council member. As a result of those friendships, he removed himself from discussing either bid and from voting on the person he thought should get the job.
"If a vote to break a tie is needed, I will vote," said Mayor Bill Mills.
He also had worked with both bidders but thought that he could be fair and vote for the bid that was best for the city.
All of that said, the council took turns going around the table to discuss their concerns and ask the questions they thought needed to be asked.
CES Electrical, represented by Curtis Squire, and Dutson Supply, represented by Troy Painter, had both entered bids on the project.
The Dutson Supply bid was for $28,621.30
The CES Electrical Contractors, Inc. bid was for $26,656.59.
Jonathan Jones, council member, wondered if there would be a warranty on the concrete work and on the sprinkling system
"Can you warranty concrete work?" asked Molli Graham, council member.
"We did specify in the bid that the base for the concrete had to be either native soil or road base," said Everd Squire, city fiance director, who at the request of the council, has been project manager of the expansion.
He and Frank Riding, council member, have worked to get the project underway and have done the preliminary work in order to have a design and to get the project out for bid.
E. Squire said that he had obtained bids for the four zones of the expansion project.
"I don't know how a guarantee can be expected on the sprinkling system," said Riding.
Even though the system would be put in this fall and tested before winter, there might still be problems caused by the winter. Small portions could freeze.
"It can be fired up and it can be tested this fall but, after the winter, it will need to be checked for problems that might happen," said Riding. "We can take care of those next spring."
Riding said that he was going to cast his vote for Dutson because the project involved a lot of excavating and Painter was good at that.
Jeff Hearty, council member, indicated he would also support awarding the bid to Dutson.
"I have struggled with this decision," said Jones. "I guess that E. Squire could remove himself from the project if it goes to Curtis?"
His concern, said Jones, was with what the people of the city would think. It seemed that there was a distrust of the city awarding the bid to Curtis Squire on the basis of the close family relationship that existed between the man planning the project and the man who would then construct it.
"It is not highly technical work and I would lean toward awarding the bid to Curtis Squire."
"Everd has indicated to me that, if it will make a difference in his son getting the bid, he will withdraw from the project," said Mills. "He is willing to do that."
However, after further consideration, Jones voted to award the bid to Dutson.
Graham also voted to give the bid to Dutson.
Since the vote of the four council members was unanimous, Mills did not need to vote.
"We would like construction to begin soon and would like it to be done by the end of November," said Mills. "That is weather permitting."
Everd Squire said that he had advertised the bid so that any or all bids could be rejected.
According to law, a city must either award the contract or reject all bids received within the time set forth in the bid specifications, but in no case more than sixty days after the date set for receipt of bids so there is time to wait for the agenda posting.
Contractors with Utah licenses were invited to bid on a construction contract known as the Mona City Cemetery Expansion Project.
"Construction will require the installation of approximately 1,332 linear feet of 6-inch by 12-inch reinforced concrete curb wall, 7,890 square feet of compacted road base and gravel driveways, installation of a sprinkler system and preparation approximately 30,081 square feet for planting with hydro seed," Squire said.
The work is to be done by Thanksgiving but the delay in awarding bids may slow the process.