Meeker board of trustees rejects engineer’s bid recommendation for water supply improvement project

MEEKER | With Mayor Pro Tem Rodney Gerloff leading the meeting in lieu of Mayor Regas Halandras, the Meeker Board of Trustees Tuesday heard from Justin Carroll from the Range Call committee. Carroll said they would like to move the concert to Ute Park for 2018. The Range Call committee has contacted performer Cain Brown as a potential headliner.
“We’re going to try to have some VIP seating, sponsorship seating and upgraded guest seating this year,” Carroll said. “We’re hoping for 5,000 to be the max tickets we would sell.”
Carroll said they had approximately 2,300 in attendance at this year’s concert, which is more than is comfortable at the fairgrounds.
In an unprecedented move, the board voted against the bid award recommendations for the Meeker Water Supply Improvements Project from contracted civil engineer Olsson Associates. Olsson recommended awarding RNA Enterprises of Glenwood Springs for $340,948 and Ridge Electric of Grand Junction for $150,603 as the lowest bidders. Several trustees expressed concerns over the recommendation, as there was more than $100,000 difference between the low bid and the next highest bid, and the bid was not itemized.
Wyatt Popp of Olsson cautioned the board that the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) grant funding received from the town would be at risk if the board chose to go with a higher bid. State statutes for DOLA funds require awarding the lowest bid as long as the bidders are responsive and qualified.
“Deviating from the process at this point in time is not recommended,” Popp said. Refusing to accept the recommendation risks losing approximately $300,000 in DOLA grant funds.
“We budgeted $1 million last year and received less than one-third of that,” said Town Clerk Lisa Cook. “We’re already upside-down on this project, we need to consider that side of it, too.”
“We’ve already spent about $200,000 this year to get here,” said Town Administrator Scott Meszaros.
Town Attorney Melody Massih asked if there is a way to re-bid the project. Popp said that would require additional discussion with DOLA.
In other business: The board agreed to set the town’s regular election for April 3, 2018. The election, which will determine a new mayor and several open trustee seats, will be a mail ballot election.
The board also approved the re-authorization of lottery proceeds through Great Outdoors Colorado, the Conservation Trust Fund and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The town and recreation district are the two local recipients of those proceeds.
The board approved a tavern license renewal for Hops & Grapes and a liquor or 3.2 beer license for the Mexican House.

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