Project stymied by bad bids

Thursday, March 12, 2020

It was three strikes and you’re out for the Greencastle Redevelopment Commission and a proposed project to extend Calbert Way.

The city received three bids on the project to extend Calbert Way (which dead-ends at the main Walmart entrance) south into the property that is expected to eventually be the site of the Community Center/YMCA.

“I have bad news on the Calbert Way project,” Mayor Bill Dory told commission members at their recent meeting at City Hall.

The bad news was that all three bidders on the work had issues with their bids.

The apparent low bidder, J.R. Bowling, Greencastle, submitted a $866,845 bid for the project but failed to include all necessary documentation, the mayor said.

The second-lowest bidder, Frank Feutz Construction -- the Paris, Ill., firm that did the rehabilitation work on Indianapolis Road last summer -- reportedly left off necessary information in its $966,648 bid, while the third bidder, White Construction, Clinton, came in way over engineering estimates at $1.1 million.

Calling the situation “very frustrating,” the mayor recommended all the bids be rejected and the project rebid.

Making the motion to reject and rebid the project, commission member Gary Lemon called the process “very painful.”

Meanwhile, the commission also approved a contract for the design of a new city parking lot at the northeast corner of Columbia and North Indiana streets. That is the site acquired from Greencastle resident Perry Wainman, who had the ramshackle house there demolished in 2013.

Civil Engineering, Greencastle, was awarded the $16,300 parking lot design work, while an additional $27,700 was approved to add a sidewalk from Jackson Street to Indiana Street along the south side of the roadway.

“If we’re going to have a contractor there, we might as well take care of drainage and ADA issues,” Mayor Dory said, adding, “there’s some goofiness along there. We’ve got some odds and ends to clean up.”

The commission agreed. “Let’s do the sidewalk,” Lemon said in making the motion for approval.

In other business, the commission:

-- Watched as Mayor Dory swore in member Gwen Morris for her 25th year on the commission, of which she is a founding member.

-- Approved an additional $5,000 for City Attorney Laurie Hardwick to settle right-of-way issues along Zinc Mill Road. Hardwick was previously authorized to proceed with right-of-way acquisition on 24 small parcels – ranging from a quarter-acre to .0002 of an acre -- along the Zinc Mill Road for an improvement project from State Road 240 to South Street. Work will include curbs and gutters, storm sewers and a sidewalk along the west side with a pathway on the east side.

-- Voiced support for a fencing project at Big Walnut Sports Park as requested by the Putnam County Youth Soccer Association, which hopes to construct a six-foot black vinyl fence to replace the split-fencing currently in place. The project, however, will require bidding

-- Gave unanimous approval to use a construction manager approach in regard to the community center/YMCA project. The hospital has used the approach several times, the mayor said, and can provide several names to consider for the position, which is seen as providing an intermediary between the contractor and the city.

Joining Mayor Dory, Morris and Lemon for the meeting were commission member Erika Gilmore and City Councilman Dave Murray. RDC members Lottie Barcus and Drew Brattain were absent.

The next regularly scheduled session of the RDC is set for 5 p.m. Thursday, March 19 (earlier due to spring break).

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