2009-09-12 / News

Trustees reject road bids, settlement offer

By Charles Prince

JACKSONTOWN - Licking Township Trustees unanimously decided Tuesday night to reject their two road resurfacing bids and start over.

Trustees opened bids on August 17 for a possible eight road resurfacing projects. Small's Asphalt Paving of Gambier bid a total of $138,756.63 for the eight projects. The Shelly Company of Thornville bid came in at $152,425.25. Two projects accounted for most of the difference in bids:

• Ridgeley Tract (west of Lake Drive to Union Township): Chip and seal 8,425' by 20' wide. Small's bid $21,633.97 while Shelly came in at $25,814.50. Small's would use more materials than Shelly.

• Licking Trail (between I-70 and U.S. 40): A two-inch asphalt patch on two sections - 1 - 400" x 18' and 1- 11' x 18'. Small's bid $25,742.72 compared to Shelly's $35,717.75.

Trustees added the eighth project - a resurfacing project on Davis Road - to the bid at the last minute. Shelly underbid Small's $27,938 to $29,760.

President Joe Hart said the Davis Road project was "on the bubble," and trustees ultimately decided to drop it. Trustee Dave Miller, who has primary responsibility for township roads, said Davis Road could go another year. After taking out the Davis Road bids, Small's bids totalled $108,996.63 to $124,487.25 for Shelly.

As trustees discussed the bids, Hart noted that he didn't see any significant differences between the bids in terms of materials or quantities. "We've had good luck with the Shelly Company," Miller said. He then suggested trying out Small's by giving them the Ridgely Tract chip and seal project.

"I think $15,490 is significant and we should take the lowest bid," Hart said.

Trustees noted that Small's hadn't included a beginning and ending date. Robin McKee, representing Small's, said dates weren't requested in the bid. Hart asked her to check on the finish date and after making a call said they could meet Shelly's Sept. 30 completion date. Fiscal officer Jill Linn then pointed out that the bid did ask for start and finish dates.

McKee also told trustees that they dissect the bids - picking one bid from one supplier and another bid from a competitor. Hart agreed that their bid language didn't permit choosing from more than one supplier.

Miller also raised concerns about transporting asphalt from Gambier which is about an hour or so away. Trustee John Holman was concerned about allowing Small's to alter their bid by adding a completion date.

Trustees ultimately agreed to wait until their next meeting to make the decision. The new bids are due Friday, Sept. 18 and will be opened during trustees' regular meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 21. The bid includes language allowing trustees to pick and choose between all bidders.

In other business Tuesday night, Robert Snedden, Sr. hand delivered a written settlement proposal to trustees. He contends and the township acknowledges that Somerset Road now extends some two feet further onto his property than it did in the past. Snedden calls it 'trespassing' and an 'illegal road improvement .'

Trustees say it is considered a nondescriptive road that they are required to maintain ditch to ditch. "We were obligated to maintain it ditch to ditch," Hart said. "We haven't paved over the ditch."

Snedden asked for $36,000 plus his yet to be determined legal and surveying costs. He asked for a formal reply in two weeks and got it in a couple of minutes.

"If that's worth $36,000, I would like to sell my farm tomorrow," Holman responded.

After the discussion became a bit heated, Miller told Snedden he wouldn't offer him a dollar, but he later retracted his comment. Hart agreed that the proposal is unreasonable and told Snedden to let a court decide who is right.

Holman said he is willing to look at a second proposal from Snedden, but all three trustees declined to make a counteroffer.

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