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CAN DEMATTIA COMPLETE THIS PROJECT FOR THE BUDGETED $491,000.00 AWARDED TO THEM BY PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP?
April 5, 2012 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Despite questions about the bidding procedure, the Plymouth Township Board of Trustees awarded a contract to DeMattia Corp. for work on the Five Mile Road water tower booster.
The award came at a special meeting Monday afternoon, attended by a sparse crowd of residents. Ken Garner, a long-time resident, asked the board members and Supervisor Richard Reaume about the criteria used to select DeMattia.
“They have been the lowest (bidder) on projects and the highest quality,” Reaume responded.
Garner’s question was prompted by comments from Township Clerk Joe Bridgman who voiced concerns about the lack of bids for the project. Bridgman cited sections of the township charter (Section 5A) which, he said, required at least three bids for the work.
Bridgman said he was not in favor of the resolution awarding the contract as it was outside the charter guidelines. The charter limits no-bid contracts to less than $40,000 annually and the contract awarded listed DeMattia as the construction management company at an estimated annual budget of $22,500. The total project cost was estimated at $491,835, including excavation fees.
Bridgman also questioned the scheduling of the special meeting Monday which was only posted, he said, last Friday.
Resident John Kuznn, a retired engineer, also had questions for the board. He asked why such a huge project was necessary so soon after the construction of the water tower.
“Was there no future planning?” he asked.
Officials have said in the past that the water tower operation was unsatisfactory. Built to hold one million gallons, the tank has not been filled to capacity. Reportedly, the tank will hold only 250,000 gallons of water before draining to that level. The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department, which has raised water rates in Plymouth by 18 percent, has been requiring repairs to the tower and the township has already spent about $96,000 on replacement valves.
The repairs allegedly will help the township avoid the proposed rate increase and penalties from Detroit if the work on the tower is begun by June.
As the construction management company, DeMattia will over- see all the construction and repairs, including the selection of subcontractors and bid specifications. DeMattia was the construction company selected to build the township hall, the DPW building, the 35th District Court, the police station and a fire station.