Glenwood council hears opposing views on wastewater bid process | AspenTimes.com

Glenwood council hears opposing views on wastewater bid process

John GardnerGlenwood Springs correspondent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Mark Gould is hoping that the city of Glenwood Springs will rethink their bidding process on the upcoming wastewater treatment facility by adding incentives for general contractors to utilize local subcontractors.”The city is wanting to encourage general contractors to use local contractors, but there is no teeth to that process,” said Gould, CEO and President of Glenwood Springs based Gould Construction.He added that the city only “requested” that seven general contractors considered for the project use local subcontractors, but there is nothing that would require the contractors to do that.”You can’t just hope that the general contractor is going to use local subcontractors,” Gould said. “That is not a strategy.”Gould, who was accompanied by more than half a dozen local contractors, told city council Thursday night that many of the seven contractors up for the bid, five of which are based in Colorado, come from areas where they have relationships with other subcontractors. He added that the contractors would be more likely to use subcontractors that they are used to working with.”If you bring in someone from Arizona who happens to have a great relationship with their electrical contractor who goes with them and who has done many projects with, just because of that relationship they are going to be more likely to use that [sub]contractor than they are to use a local [sub]contractor,” Gould said. “Unless, they are given an incentive to use a local contractor.”Gould’s proposal to city council was to add an incentive to the bidding process that would encourage contractors to utilize local subcontractors by awarding the contract based on a point system. Basically, the bid process would be based on a point system where 90 percent of the score is based on cost, and 10 percent is based on the contractor’s use of local subcontractors, Gould said.”It’s nice to tell contractors that you would like to encourage them to use local contractors,” Gould said. “The problem is that unless you have an incentive package, they have no real reason to use local contractors versus the other contractors.”Council was unaware if they could make an amendment to the bid at this late date.City Manager Jeff Hecksel said that he would have to look at the proposal to determine if any code amendments would have to be made as a result of including Gould’s proposal.”I don’t think I can answer that definitively at this point,” Hecksel told council.Mayor Bruce Christensen said, “We think that it’s very important right now if we could include as many local people as possible given what the economy is like.”We certainly are not the federal government, throwing huge amounts of money around. But this is a big project and we would like people here to be involved in it.”The city received 19 applications from interested contractors for the estimated $35 million wastewater treatment project. According to City Engineer Mike McDill this is the city’s largest capital project to date.The city had a pre-qualification process where it solicited statements of qualification from contractors based on experience and qualifications. A panel of a dozen city and Schmueser Gordon Meyer employees trimmed the list to seven.The project specifications manual and drawings are now available for subcontractors to view in the city’s engineering department. Bids from contractors are due back by Oct. 23 with a notice of award anticipated for mid-November.Hecksel said at the meeting that the bid deadline could be pushed back if they decided to include Gould’s proposal.jgardner@postindependent.com