Town Awards Sewerline Replacement Project to Rundle Construction

After two unsuccessful bid attempts, Town of Lake City awarded the sewerline replacement project contract to Hotchkiss-based Rundle Construction, the same company which successfully finished the Lake City waterline replacement project last fall.
Town Engineer Joanne Fagan spoke to Town Trustees at the August 7 workshop prior to the regular meeting, saying two companies had placed reasonable bids to be considered: Western Gravel Constructors and Rundle Construction. A third bid was placed by Phoenix Industries, which Fagan said was “way out of the ballpark” beyond the budget.
Fagan explained that all three bids were higher than the monies budgeted for the project, but the request for proposals encompassed the entirety of what needed to be done to complete the project, and the winning bidder would ultimately do only as much as the town’s budget allowed.
“We are at this time waiting to hear back from Western Gravel; we need more information about the amount of general sewerline work they have done, much less sewerline replacement, which is actually quite different.” Fagan said. “The request for proposals stated that the award would go to the most qualified bidder, not the lowest.”
Fagan explained that the town has retained approximately $1.2 million in the budget for the project, with an additional $100,000 for contingences. Phoenix Industries base bid was $2,193,556; Western Gravel Constructor’s base bid was $1,342,916; and Rundle Construction base bid was $1,500,000.
At a special meeting Friday, August 9, Fagan and the Trustees reviewed the bids and requested additional information from both Rundle and Western Gravel Constructors to determine the successful bidder.
At the special meeting, Mayor Bruce Vierheller, Town Manager Caroline Mitchell and Trustees Dave Roberts, Jeff Heaton, Richard Moore, Jud Hollingsworth and Marty Priest were present, as well as Public Works Director Greg Levine, with Fagan on the phone for portions of the discussion.
The Trustees noted again that the request for proposals specifically stated that the bid would be awarded to the most qualified bidder, not the bidder with the lowest bid. After reviewing the qualifications of both Western Gravel and Rundle, Levine, who worked extensively with Rundle on the waterline replacement project, was asked for his opinion.
“We have worked with Rundle before,” Levine said. “We know how they operate and their level of professionalism. We know they have experience. This is going to be a tricky project, and we need someone who will be able to handle whatever may, and probably, will happen.”
After further discussion, a motion was made and seconded to approve the $1,500,000 bid made by Rundle Construction and the motion passed unopposed.
The sewerline replacement project is set to break ground this fall and continue as long as weather permits. Once the project is completed, Town of Lake City intends to begin road repaving efforts.