Landfill construction bid process called into question


WILMINGTON — A potential bidder recently expressed concerns over the recipient for the city’s landfill expansion construction project.

Jack Stauffer, of Stauffer Site Services in Morrow, spoke at Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting about concerns he had with the bid-awarding process. Stauffer told council he attended the bid of the phase eight landfill construction project last month. He advised that the lowest bidder was not present at the meeting which all bidders are required to attend.

“I was told the job was awarded to a low bidder even though they did not meet the requirement of the mandatory meeting. This is just not something that happens. This is not a common occurrence,” said Stauffer. “If it is advertised in a legal ad, only those who are in attendance are eligible to bid on that job. That is pretty cut and dry.”

He said he emailed city safety/service director Brian Shidaker, and added that Shidaker responded by saying the low bidder didn’t receive an unfair advantage.

Stauffer said he believes that since the winning bidder wasn’t there, then it shouldn’t have gone to them.

“I want to emphasize the integrity in the public bidding process,” he said.

At the previous council meeting, Shidaker told council the winning bid was a little under $1 million with construction set to begin in May and ending in July.

Shidaker forwarded the News Journal a memorandum for the Wilmington City Council about the bid. The bid went to a company called Tucson for $954,327.20.

In a section entitled “What you need to know,” it states “The bid document expressly stated, the Board of Control of the City of Wilmington reserves the right to accept the lowest and best bid, reject any and all bids, and to waive any irregularities in bids.”

In the memorandum, it indicates “the failure to attend a pre-bid meeting, regardless of its mandatory nature, did not affect the amount of the bid or give the bidder a competitive advantage.”

It also hints that a rejection of the bid could result in “a legal matter, not favorable to the City.”

In January, the council approved a resolution authorizing bids for the construction of the phase 8 expansion at the Wilmington Landfill. Public Work Director Rick Schaffer advised at the same meeting that the project will cost $1 million and will be completed at the end of the summer.

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

No posts to display