City Manager Linda Freed informed the city council of the situation at last night’s (Tuesday’s) work session. Freed said Alutiiq’s bid also came with the stipulation that their bid price–15.5 million dollars–was only good if they could have an additional four months to do the project.
Freed, who was out of town for the bid opening, said there were two other companies that sent representatives to the bid opening with sealed bids that they ultimately decided to withhold. She said based on conversations that she had with those and other construction firms, the sticking point seems to be the desire to have extra time to do the project.
(Police Station 1 :48s “…extra four months on the end.”)
Freed’s recommendation to the city council was to re-bid the project, giving companies an extra four months with which to complete it.
(Police Station 2 :44s “…more competitive opportunity.”)
The city council agreed that the police station project should be re-bid. Councilman Tom Walters said because Alutiiq’s bid was outside of the original specifications that the city asked for, he wanted to give the other firms equal opportunity.
(Police Station 3 :23s “…didn’t fall within the guidelines.”)
Walters also asked Freed if the city had enough to pay for the project. Her answer was yes, as long as the project stays around 16-million dollars and doesn’t go unreasonably higher. However, she added that the city might have to dip into its fund balance to cover any contingency costs. Walters said he’s been concerned about the price of the building all along, but was willing to go along with that.
(Police Station 4 :25s “…don’t raise taxes, then I’m satisfied.”)
The new plan is to solicit bids for the new police station, which will be opened in mid-December. The construction contract will then be awarded in January.
The city is still planning to proceed with the project without building the jail portion at first. Contractors will still tell the city how much they think it will cost to build the jail, but the city will seek funding from the State of Alaska to finish that aspect of the building at a later date.