In the latest City Commission session convened this Monday, commissioners engaged in discussions regarding the bid withdrawal request presented by RAM Contracting and Dirtworks of Salina, Kansas, for project number 23011— the 2023 Sidewalk Ramps initiative. Following careful deliberation, the Commission approved the bid withdrawal from RAM Contracting and Dirtworks. Subsequently, Morgan Brothers Construction, Inc. of La Crosse, Kansas, secured the bid at $108,616.30, including a 5% construction contingency of $5,430.82. The total project authorization was capped at $114,047.12.
The 2023 Streets sub-CIP allocated funds for a sidewalk ramps project, with additional concrete work incorporated to enhance appeal to potential bidders. The project involves replacing existing sidewalks ending at full-depth curbs with compliant sidewalk ramps as per the Americans with Disabilities Act laws. This encompasses 32 ramps at 13 locations. Additional concrete work includes the replacement of curbs around the Santa Fe and Ash intersection's northwest parking lot and median islands, as well as the creation of new crosswalks on 5th Street to facilitate Downtown Fieldhouse pedestrian traffic.
After the bid opening, RAM Contracting and Dirtworks, the low bidder, requested to withdraw its bid, prompting an evaluation of the bid's status based on Kansas statutory law distinctions between judgmental and non-judgmental mistakes.
Governing Body Considerations:
The low bid of $42,145.35, significantly lower than the second lowest bid and a third of the Engineer's Estimate, raised concerns among Engineering staff. They expressed reservations about the economic feasibility of the low bid, suggesting that awarding the contract might hinder successful project completion. Citing the Instructions to Bidders, the Engineering staff recommended rejecting the low bidder's bid, emphasizing the City's right to reject bids not in the project's best interest.
RAM Contracting and Dirtworks submitted a bid security in the form of a cashier's check amounting to $2,107.26. If the Governing Body rejects the low bidder's bid, the cashier's check should be returned to the bidder.
Engineering staff recommended rejecting the low bid and returning the bid security. The Governing Body could consider alternatives such as accepting the bid withdrawal with or without retaining the bid security. However, these alternatives were not recommended due to potential drawbacks.
Second Lowest Bidder:
The second lowest bidder, relatively new to Salina, demonstrated satisfactory performance in a comparable-sized project recently.
The 2023 Streets sub-GIP budget includes $150,000 of gas tax funds for Sidewalks and Ramps. A separate agenda item requests $36,805.95 of those funds, leaving $113,194.05 for this project.
The Commission approved a motion rejecting the low bid of RAM Contracting and Dirt Works, citing concerns about its alignment with the project's best interest. The motion also directed Engineering staff to return the bid security, with Commissioner Ryan dissenting. Another motion to award the bid to Morgan Brothers Construction, Inc. was subsequently approved, outlining the project details and authorizing the City Manager to execute a contract upon fulfillment of bid document prerequisites, receiving unanimous approval.