JACKSONTOWN – It took two tries, but Licking Township Trustees awarded a contract for road resurfacing Monday night.
Trustees opened bids for the first time August 17. Small’s Asphalt Paving of Gambier bid a total of $138,756.63 to complete the eight projects. The Shelly Company of Thornville bid $152,425.25. Trustee Dave Miller expressed concern about the distance Small’s would be hauling hot asphalt from their Gambier plant to the township. Miller suggested splitting the bid and awarding the chip and seal portion to Small’s which would save about $4,200 and give the township an opportunity to evaluate their work. A company representative said trustees hadn’t included language in the request for bid, allowing them to split up the jobs. Small’s declined to accept one job out of the eight bid. Trustees also believed that Small’s bid wasn’t responsive since it didn’t include the requested start and end date. Trustees decided to delay making a decision until their Sept. 8 meeting, when they unanimously agreed to reject both bids and readvertise with the right to accept all or a portion of each bid.
Rebids were opened during Monday night’s meeting. The Shelly Company cut its price by about $25, submitting a lump sum bid of $152,372.50. Small’s significantly increased its bid to $162,655.42. Neither bidder broke out costs by individual project, thwarting trustees’ efforts to pick the lowest project costs between the two.
Once again, Small’s didn’t include a start or finish date. Company representative Robin McKee said their attorney advised them not to include dates since that decision is up to trustees. That explanation didn’t sway trustees who declared Small’s bid unresponsive. Shelly included a Sept. 28 start date with completion by Oct. 30.
The lump sum bids disappointed trustees and created a difficulty. Back in August, trustees decided to drop the Davis Road project, a $27,938 low bid from Shelly, to save money for their share of two prospective Ohio Public Works Commission projects. Dropping a specific project from a lump sum bid looked difficult.
Miller said the township’s some $88,000 share wouldn’t be needed until next June if then. The requests for OPWC grants to repave Hupp Road and Amherst Road in Harbor Hills narrowly missed the cut in the last round. Trustees agreed to reapply Monday night, but even if they do make the cut this time, work wouldn’t start until next June.
“We should be fine (doing it all),” fiscal officer Jill Linn told trustees. Trustees then unanimously awarded the contract to The Shelly Company. During public comments, McKee said, “You have wasted over $10,000 of taxpayers money be throwing out the first bid.” She continued to maintain that it is the trustees’ responsibility to set the start and finish dates.
Trustees also unanimously accepted an offer from Triple H Enterprises to seal cracks in Lee- Mar Heights and to redo a couple of cracks in Misty Meadows. The total cost is $3,151.
Trustees also formally approved reapplying for OPWC grants for repaving Hupp and Amherst roads. Total project cost for Hupp Road is estimated at $384,840 with the township responsible for $77,353. Amherst is a $42,130 project with the township’s share $8,468. The township missed funding by three points in the latest round. Miller said the new applications have been improved by adding updated traffic counts and increasing the township’s contribution via in-kind work.
Both Robert Snedden Sr. and Will Kern commented about comments made at the last meeting. Snedden called his settlement offer of $36,000 “chicken feed.” Kern said his motivation is to help out a friend (Snedden) that is getting beat up. “You back up friends 100 percent.” He went on to challenge trustees’ contention that Somerset Road is a nondescriptive road that they are required to maintain ditch to ditch. Kerns said a road inventory lists it as 14 feet paved with four feet of berm. “It went from 14 feet paved to 21 feet,” Kern said.
He and Snedden debated the “nondescriptive” issue a bit with Miller, but no one changed their positions from the last meeting. Trustee John Holman indicated a willingness to review another, more reasonable settlement proposal from Snedden, while Trustee President Joe Hart and Miller suggested Snedden take his claims to court.