Trustees reject $20,000 savings on repaving work
HEBRON - Union Township Trustees rejected a low paving bid because they said it didn't meet the specifications of the job, even though it was roughly $20,000 less than a competing bid.
Last month trustees opened bids from the Shelly Company and Mid-Ohio Paving to repave seven township roads, including Grande Pointe, Old Farm Road, and Margaret Lane. Shelly bid $120,949.78 and Mid- Ohio bid $100,826.47. Trustees delayed making their decision that night because they weren't sure how Mid-Ohio could bid so much less than Shelly.
Bill Lozier, deputy engineer and surveyor for the Licking County Engineer's Office, said Wednesday that trustees consulted him and he explained the different materials used in the process, although he couldn't address the materials' performance because the county doesn't use them. "These things get into chemistry; it's very complex," he said.
Lozier said asphalt can be suspended in either a petroleumbased medium or a water-based medium. The medium disappears after the asphalt is spread on the road, leaving only the solid asphalt. He said Mid-Ohio uses a MWS water-based emulsion, which is 68 percent asphalt. Shelly uses "cut back," or the CM petroleum based product, which is 85 percent asphalt. "The trustees had a good experience with the CM. They like it," said Lozier. He assumed a paving job would take more MWS because it contains less asphalt than the CM, but on the other hand he's been told the CM is more expensive.
ODOT spokeswoman Kate Stickle said no ODOT officials would comment since ODOT is not directly involved in the bids. Both materials are listed as acceptable on ODOT's specification sheet.
Justice said Monday night that he would write a letter to Mid- Ohio explaining why the bid was rejected if the county prosecutor thought that he should. He said he was worried Mid-Ohio's paving and people lawns would be damaged if it rained within ten days of laying the asphalt. He said rain wouldn't damage Shelly's "cut back" asphalt.
"We can sleep at night and the residents can sleep at night knowing that we won't have a disaster on our hands," he said. Justice said trustees worked with the CM material previously and found it worked well in subdivisions. Since most of the paving is to be in subdivisions, the CM material was written into the specifications for the bid. He said the CM material stops the asphalt from tracking onto concrete driveways, and the MWS emulsion can allow asphalt to wash into lawns if it rains while the asphalt is drying. That matters less on less populated rural roads, he said, but he receives complaints from people in subdivisions. Justice believes either material would work fine if there was no precipitation for 10 days following the paving, but he wasn't willing to take that chance. He said it may cost the township more than the $20,000 difference if it did rain during the drying process. "Under non-ideal conditions we could save more than the $20,000," said Justice, adding that either material is less expensive than using hot mix.
Trustee President John Slater said CM product is equally available to everyone, but Mid-Ohio didn't choose to use it. Justice said Shelly switched to CM after a bad experience with MWS. Trustees agreed not to seek new bids because each company already knows what the other bid.
Slater and Trustee Jesse Ours voted to accept Shelly's bid and Justice abstained from vote. Justice abstained from voting due to his long-standing business relationship - sale of new trucks - with The Shelly Company.
Mid-Ohio was unavailable for comment.
In other township news:
• Slater said William Kramer, of Kramer & Associates of Cincinnati, a fire service consultant, agreed to meet with Slater and Hebron Mayor Clifford Mason Wednesday to organize arbitration between trustees and the Village of Hebron over how to distribute EMS billing revenue. Trustees recently agreed to sign a fire/EMS services contract with Hebron, provided the village promises to use an arbitrator to help settle the dispute. Trustees believe the township is entitled to 60 percent of all the EMS billing revenue that the Hebron Fire Department collects because the township contributes 60 percent of the Hebron department's operating expenses. Hebron Village Council members maintain that it's not that simple, and some runs are not eligible to collect EMS billing revenue. Trustees and the council have been at a stalemate since January.
Slater said although Wednesday's meeting was not open to the public, any decisions will be made in public meetings.
• Slater said the Licking, Fairfield, and Perry county commissioners are determining if there's enough public support for flood control near the I-70 and Ohio 79 interchange to move ahead with a project the South Licking Watershed Conservancy District proposed.
Licking County Commissioner Tim Bubb said Tuesday that the conservancy could get some funding for the project by becoming a sub-district of the large Muskingum Watershed District. "Most of the solution (to the I-70 and Ohio 79 flooding) is in Licking County," he said.
To review the proposed flood mitigation project, floodwater would be contained in a 1,000-acre area, or dry dam, which is roughly west of Ohio 37 (behind the Pilot truck stop) and between I-70 and US 40 to the north. As the name implies, the "dry dam" would only hold water during times of flooding. A nine feet high earthen containment wall would be built north of I-70, west of Ohio 37 and another wall would be built where needed that would run north between I-70 and US 40. The outlet structure, or weir, would be concrete. The dry dam would release water into a new bypass channel constructed on the north side of I-70, reconnecting with the South Fork at Ohio 79.
Bubb said he would continue to support the project.
• Township Zoning Inspector and Police Chief Paula Green said a property in the Hartman Farms subdivision has been mowed and cleaned up. Trustees pushed the property owner to clean up the property, which is in an upper scale neighborhood. Green said neighbors said the property owner is physically unable to tend to the lawn.
Green said a Blacks Road property owner was officially notified to tend to his property and a Keller Road property is about to receive notification. Green said the Keller Road property is vacant and was deeded to Veterans' Affairs of Cleveland. The veteran's affairs office is now responsible to maintain the property.
• Slater said trees and brush should be pruned back from several township roadways. He wondered if the road crews needed
powerful pruning tools.
Justice suggested possibly purchasing a used bucket truck to help crews reach the branches. "I'm not sure I'd want a chainsaw on a stick over my head," he said.
Slater said a bucket truck is complex and expensive. Justice thought hiring an insured contractor to prune trees is the best solution. Trustees will look into it.