Long-anticipated facilities improvements to Mickens Field, 14318 Canal St., will be delayed just a little bit longer.
The Dade City Commission tabled the Mickens Field concession and public restroom building project, after some disagreement on contractor selection. The decision came during a June 9 virtual commission meeting.
Here’s the issue: City staff in a memo recommended entering contract negotiations with Ryman Construction of Florida Inc., who had the highest evaluation score among six proposals (75.51), and a bid of $113,727. Should a deal fail with Ryman, staff recommended to then enter into the second-highest ranked bidder, Leonard Contractors, who’s bid came in at $100,834.
However, Commissioner Jim Shive disagreed with the recommendation.
He suggested the city instead go with the lowest bidder overall. That’s Borregard Construction Inc., whose proposal came in at $89,750 and evaluation score (64.22) ranked fifth among six proposals.
Shive reasoned the city should be more conservative with construction projects near-term, citing possible budgetary impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and cost overruns on previous projects.
The Mickens Field building project shouldn’t be a complicated undertaking for any construction company, he said. He also noted that Borregard has a 20-year running relationship with the city.
The city has $150,000 budgeted for the project, funded through the local government infrastructure surtax, or Penny for Pasco.
“We have a potential to save $60,000, which we could utilize in other areas. Why would we not take that opportunity to save that kind of money?” Shive questioned. “We’re talking about a 672-square-foot building. It’s basically a block with a roof. It’s not rocket science, it’s cut-and-dry.”
City Engineer Abu Nazmurreza was not one of the four city staffers involved in the evaluation process, but pointed out that Borregard did not submit all of the requested information — which is why the company didn’t warrant a higher evaluation score, or primary or secondary recommendation. The city engineer also noted Ryman has completed similar projects in neighboring cities and scored high in all areas of the original request for proposals, except in the final dollar amount.
With looming indecision, commissioners agreed to have City Manager Leslie Porter review the matter and come back with a final determination at the next meeting on June 23.
Mayor Camille Hernandez said Shive “brought up some very valid points” regarding the project’s selection process.
“Hopefully, we can try to straighten this out,” the mayor said. “I know we have talked about (Mickens Field) for many, many years, so we’re excited to see that coming to fruition, and hopefully, a reality by October or before year’s end.”
The project had an initial target completion date of mid-October. The old concession/restroom structure was demolished in late May by city public works.
Published June 17, 2020