A quality project for Carbondale
December 23, 2011
The issue of local contractors getting preference as it relates to any project has come up every time a private development project comes before a board to be approved. The opponents to those projects claim that low-ballers will move in and wreck the place. Not true when it comes to government work – witness the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority’s enthusiasm after getting more than 100 contractors to show interest in bus rapid transit.
RFTA is all excited about a low price – never mind where the cash ends up going. Garfield County and Glenwood Springs have an ordinance on the books giving a local contractor preference if within 10 percent of the low bid. Not sure how often it gets applied. Government generally imports outside “expertise” for the majority of its work and actually sometimes prefers it that way. The speculative growth that damaged the entire country is all but dead and was reliant on low-ballers for their production in most cases.
The Willits roundabout recently successfully completed by Gould Construction and the restart on the Whole Foods building are almost 100 percent local workforce. Congratulations to that group for recognizing the homegrown talent that is here and ready to go.
The important thing to remember about good local contractors is that we are here for the same reason everyone else is. Our firm is focused on providing meaningful work, the best benefits we can afford, an opportunity for professional growth and to be a part of the community’s fabric. We are competitive and competent, our values and ethics are attached to sustainability, and we would like to give back more than just the minimum. Our extended families number in the hundreds.
We have a tremendous amount of intellectual capacity at our fingertips, and the “local knowledge” we possess is priceless. We are not in bed with the development community. We support the Village at Crystal River project not because we want the work but because we think it is the right thing at the right time for the area. Maybe some in Carbondale do not see it that way, and they are the only ones who get to vote. I hope when you do vote that you consider those of us who are trying to bring stability and opportunity to the work force at all levels of employment.
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I believe I speak for others in the construction industry when I say we want to be respected for what we bring and appreciated for what we do. Not lumped in or labeled as a negative influence by those with a lack of familiarity guiding their voices. Remember: To know a library or a bike path is to know a construction guy. Vote carefully on the Village at Crystal River issue – a lot of families and futures from all walks depend on a successful project.