Low bidder pleads his case for street work
Application missing information, so board awards contract to competing firm
Whitefish Bay — Awarding contracts for capital projects veered from the routine Monday night as the Village Board approved contracts for a variety of construction projects. The $2.5 million in contracts targets improving public parking lots, sanitary sewers, alleys and roads.
Once contractor was unhappy because his bid was not considered.
Mark LaLonde of LaLonde Contractors asked the board to award the contract for reconstruction of Berkeley Boulevard and Sylvan Avenue to his company. LaLonde said his bid was $50,000 less than Vinton Construction, the company ultimately awarded the contract.
Eight firms bid on project
Eight companies bid on the work, but Village Engineer Dan Naze said the LaLonde bid lacked information in two areas and was not considered for that reason.
LaLonde subsequently provided some of the missing information, Naze said, but the board decided to follow the recommendation of village staff in awarding the contract to Vinton.
"We have a contractor who did submit on time," Interim Village Manager Matt Schuenke said. "It is unfortunate but we have to consider what would happen if we did this."
Trustee Jim Roemer pointed out that there were seven contractors for the job who had bids in on time.
"If the shoe were on the other foot, what would LaLonde expect?" Roemer said.
Two trustees back lower bid
Trustees Kevin Buckley and Jay Miller thought the board should award the contract to LaLonde.
"I can't believe we are spending $50,000 of taxpayer money when we don't have to," Buckley said.
The board, by a 5-2 vote, awarded a $903,601 contract to Vinton Construction for street reconstruction in the 5500 block of Berkeley Boulevard and the 700 and 800 blocks of Sylvan Avenue.
Heartland Construction was awarded a $933,155 contract to replace sanitary sewer in the 4700 to 4900 blocks of Berkeley Boulevard, from Wilson Drive to Fairmount Avenue.
Vinton was awarded a second contract for $683,551 for reconstruction of the public parking lots north and south of Silver Spring Drive and adjacent alleys, including the residential alley in the 600 to 700 block between Lakeview and Beaumont avenues.
Naze said the parking lot work could begin as early as next week, with the other projects starting a little later in the spring.
Special assessments coming
The Village Board also approved special assessments for property owners abutting the various projects.
Property owners pay 100 percent of driveway and sidewalk costs, 100 percent of sanitary sewer lateral costs from the sewer main to the property line and for single family and two-family residential properties, 30 percent of street reconstruction costs. Commercial and multi-family property owners pay 70 percent of street reconstruction costs. Street reconstruction costs are based on frontage width.
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