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EMS, fire bids on high end

12/19/2013

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

After bids were opened this week, Ellis County Administrator Greg Sund said Wednesday there is a recommendation to accept the low bid for one county project and a recommendation to reject bids for the other project.

"I'm in the process of trying to arrange a special meeting," Sund said. "My guess is I will be able to put it together Friday afternoon."

Sund said both bids would be on the meeting agenda.

Bids for a remodeling project at 718 Main and for construction of a new EMS/rural fire building at 22nd Street and General Hays Road were opened Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

The base bids for the county administrative building at 718 Main were $944,000 from Commercial Builders and $995,000 from Paul-Wertenberger Construction. They also bid on six alternates for the project. The budget for remodeling was $600,000.

"We're off by way over 50 percent," Sund said. "Almost $1 million -- it's a big difference.

"The recommendation of that one is that we reject the bids, and we go back and try to figure out if there's some components we can leave out of it, what we need to change, then go back out and bid again."

There were six bids opened Wednesday for the EMS/rural fire building project; all were more than the $3.5 million to $3.6 million budget for the project, but not by so much where the recommendation would be to start over in the bid process.

Paul-Wertenberger Construction, Hays, had the low base bid of $3.95 million.

"Because we can make that kind of change without making significant changes in the scope of the project, our attorneys said that we probably could do that for this project. But the changes we're talking about for 718 Main are just too much for that," Sund said. "The recommendation is to award (the EMS/rural fire project) to the low bid and then see if we can cut some components out of it. That's not as substantial difference as the other one."

Sund said the caveat on awarding the bid would be the project would come in at the $3.5 million to $3.6 million budgeted.

Bids for the EMS/rural fire building included seven alternates. Some of those could be eliminated to cut costs.

"It could be," Sund said. "But also one or two of those might be a priority, and we have to make up the difference somewhere else."

Also submitting base bids and on alternates for the EMS/rural fire project were: the Law Co., Wichita, base bid of $4.12 million; Compton Construction, Wichita, base bid of $4.23 million; Commercial Builders, Hays, base bid of $4.29 million; Harbin Construction, Salina; base bid of $4.44 million; Conco Construction, Wichita, base bid of $4.55 million.