The Atlantic City Council Wednesday, authorized Mayor Dave Jones to execute an Engineering and Design Services Agreement with Snyder and Associates for the 2014 Street Improvement Projects (SIP). City Administrator Doug Harris says the lump sum cost for the design and construction inspection services is $74,000, which he says reflects a reasonable 9.9% of the estimated project cost. The preliminary cost estimate for the work is $755,000.
The 2014 Street Improvement Projects include:
• The reconstruction of 17th St. from Redwood Dr. to East Dead End.
• Mill, patch & overlay 9th St. from Palm to Cedar, and Elm to Plum.
• Mill, patch & overlay 13th St. from Cherry to the Dead End east of Plum.
• Mill, patch & overlay Locust St. from 8th to 10th.
• Mill, patch and overlay Maple St. from 7th to 10th.
City Administrator Doug Harris said the City has the option of retaining the current contractor and subcontractors working on City Streets for the work, both of whom are willing to hold their current contract prices. Or, the City could request competitive bids for the projects. Harris said the benefit of utilizing a change order is that it will lock-in last year’s prices and save the City money, not to mention time.
He said the last time the City went out for SIP bids, there were only a couple of general contractors who replied, and a couple of subcontractors who pour the concrete. Harris said the scope of the project is one reason why they didn’t receive much interest the last time they went out for bids, and why a change order may be most beneficial.
City Attorney Dave Wiederstein says the City assumes some risks if it elects to go the change order route. He said but it would save the City money. The risk he spoke of was if another contractor “Raises an issue [as to the City using a Change Order], then we’d have to go back to the bidding process.” Councilwoman Kathy Somers said the City “Has a history of contractors raising issues. I can think of at least two times” when a contractor has spoken up about the awarding of contracts when bids weren’t requested.
After much discussion, the Council decided to informally ask area contractors if they would be interested in submitting a bid prior to making an official request for bids. If there is not much interest, they’ll move forward with the change order process. In other business, Doug Harris announced Atlantic is receiving another “Tree City USA” award. The City has received the award and honor for many years. The official announcement will come April 3rd, in Johnston.