Carefree awards remodeling contract to Edge Construction

By Linda Bentley | October 28, 2009

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Town receives ARRA funds for Cave Creek Road improvements

Gary neissCAREFREE – After Mayor David Schwan announced the Nov. 3 meeting would be moved to Nov. 4 due to elections during the Oct. 20 town council meeting, Town Administrator Gary Neiss presented information about awarding a contract for tenant improvements to town hall for municipal court use.

Neiss joked, “Since I had so much fun the first time around, I thought I’d bring you another contract.”
However, this time, the town appeared to go through the proper legal procedures and provided bid and contractor information in the council packet, unlike the three pages included in the packet for tenant improvements to 8 Sundial Circle last month.

Although the town claimed it wanted to use local contractors as the reason for using a “hybrid” bidding process last time, it chose to advertise the solicitation for bids in a newspaper with minimal distribution in Carefree, whereas an ad in Sonoran News for a nominal additional amount might have alerted local contractors.

As it turned out, 30 contractors, only three of which were from Carefree, attended the mandatory pre-bid conference on Oct. 9.

Of those 30, bids were submitted by 10 contractors, none of which were from Carefree.
According to Neiss, all 30 of the contractors were called on Thursday (Oct. 15) to confirm they had all received the three addenda. He said the contractors were then instructed where specifically on the bid form each addendum needed to be acknowledged.

Walker Construction & General Contracting of Cave Creek came in with the lowest bid at $15,910 with SDB Inc. of Tempe the highest at $40,339.

However, Neiss pointed out Walker was disqualified for failure to acknowledge the addenda. He also noted Walker submitted a certified check instead of a bid bond, which, although allowable, raises a flag, indicating it could have an issue with obtaining bonds.

The next lowest responsible bidder was Edge Construction, LLC of Scottsdale at $17,600, to which council voted unanimously to award the contract.

doug stavoeCouncilman Bob Coady commented, “As your biggest critic at the last bidding process, this is a 100 percent improvement.”

Councilman Doug Stavoe questioned if tenant improvements to convert the old town hall for municipal court use would have any effect on the town’s lease.

Town Attorney Tom Chenal said he reviewed the lease and didn’t see a problem and that the lease was for a town center, stating use by the court is not a sublease, it is the same tenant.

Stavoe asked, “What if we spend this 20 grand and then our rent goes sky high?”
Neiss stated, “Right now we don’t have a lease.”

He also stated there was a 30-day completion period from the notice of award, as stated in the bid contract, and the court improvements would be completed by Nov. 19.

Neiss said the court would move on Saturday, Nov. 21 and court would be in session Monday, Nov. 23.

Stavoe asked if the bids, as presented, would be the model for future bidding and commented, “This is great.”

bob coadyCouncil voted 6-1, with Coady dissenting, in favor of entering into an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), a requirement for the $588,340 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) money allocated through the Maricopa Association of Governments for “shovel ready projects.”

The ARRA funding will be used to pay for a pavement preservation project on Cave Creek Road between Scopa Trail and the town’s eastern boundary and for design and construction of a pedestrian crossing at Tom Darlington Drive and Ridgeview Place.

Neiss explained there were expenses attached to accepting federal money in addition to the requirement the town enter into an IGA with ADOT.

Chenal stated there were a couple of items in ADOT’s standard contract they were able to get changed, for example, where the contract would have held the town responsible for payment of penalties , assessments or sanctions resulting from any “failure,” to comply with any ARRA requirements, it now states, “failure by the town.”

However, Councilman Peter Koteas found another paragraph, which would hold the town responsible for cost overruns for engineering and design work, troubling.

Chenal responded, “We would argue a cost overrun is a change and, therefore, would have to be agreeable to the town.”

Coady cited, “I’m a little leery since it’s government,” as his reason for voting against the IGA.

Following an executive session, council voted unanimously to have Schwan sign a hold harmless agreement with NewPath Networks, which provides infrastructure to lease to cell phone companies.

The agreement will allow Carefree to remain as an intervener in the NewPath proceedings before the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) where it is seeking status as a public utility, despite the fact the ACC does not regulate cell phone service and NewPath does not provide any utility service to the public.

According to the town, the agreement removes Carefree's prior objection to the ACC granting NewPath a Certificate of Convenience & Necessity (CC&N) and will limit NewPath’s ability to use the authority granted by that CC&N against Carefree in future negotiations.