Township seeking bids for new park pavilion
Jul. 1, 2014 PLYMOUTH VOICE.
Plymouth Michigan News
“Local units of government should have an adopted purchasing policy”
Plymouth Township Clerk Nancy Conzelman and architect-designer firm D.S. Wright and Associates of Plymouth are requesting bids for construction of an elaborate 4,500 sq. ft. township park pavilion, estimated to cost in excess of $850,000.
The clerk’s office is charged with the responsibility for various township business functions like financial accounting, records administration, publishing ordinance codes, election administration and collecting bids for construction projects.
Quotations for the advertised sealed bid inquiry are due by July 14 and scheduled to be opened publicly on that date in Township Hall.
According to the published inquiry information and accompanying project manual, Conzelman is asking for a base-project bid and an alternate construction-management bid to allow the township to “Purchase certain materials direct-(ly) for installation by the construction manager subcontractors.” The inquiry doesn’t reveal what certain materials are involved.
The township will have the right to reject any and all bids for any reason they determine appropriate.
“The Township reserves the right to reject any or all bids received and to waive any formalities in regard thereto. In addition, the Township reserves the right to evaluate bids on any basis determined by the Township to be in the best interest of the Township and to consider alternate bids if the low bidder(s) does not comply with the project requirements or are otherwise determined to be unqualified.”
The posted specifications state the successful contractor will collect the bids for the township for each subcontractor trade, review the proposals and make their recommendation for awards.
Northville Township Clerk Sue Hillebrand recently released a public advertisement seeking bidders to pave a parking lot for their Community Park. Although some communities might consider this a small project, Hillebrand is conducting a formal purchasing inquiry. She is sure to follow all the correct and recognized protocols for good purchasing practices and procedures regardless of the size and expenditure.
Hillebrand and Northville Townships’s strict and recognized purchasing practices requires all contractor quotations must be submitted as sealed bids and all bids are opened at the same time in the presence of the clerk, township engineer and other public service personnel. Each one then must place their signature or stamp on the bids and record them in a summary, which will be kept as public record.
With Northville Township’s procedure, one nationally recognized, prospective bidders are first requested to pick-up the specifications at the township hall, pay a $25 fee for each set of documents and then submit a surety bond in the amount of 5% of their total bid price along with a certified check when they submit their bid proposal.
The successful bidder will then have to furnish satisfactory performance, maintenance and labor and material bonds in an amount commensurate with their bid price plus proof of satisfactory insurance coverage, waivers of lien and other documentation.
Professional purchasing managers say, according to recognized business practices competitive solicitation should be used wherever feasible and purchasing departments should maintain a database of approved vendors and contractors, including their qualifications, experience, references and a rating of their ability to perform and meet requirements.
“Local units of government should have an adopted purchasing policy,” say’s Northville Township financial director, Marina Neumaier. “One that is adopted by the governing body.”
In Northville Township formal inquiries are conducted for purchases of goods and services in accordance with their established internal policy and federal law.
“Northville Township doesn’t encourage the use credit cards for routine purchases and has only one.” That card is held by the finance department and is subject to auditor review each year, according to Neumaier.
Neumaier, who has a strong professional auditing background with Plante Moran, says outside auditors annually review their internal controls and disbursements and make sure their policy mitigates any risks or conflicts of interest.
Township Manager Chip Snider says he totally agrees.
“We’re always watchful about spending for projects where departments might inadvertently try to circumvent our established purchasing policy and break-up projects into small pieces.” Snider says.
Construction of the Plymouth Township pavilion, partially funded by a Land and Water Conservation Fund Grant, was designed for year around use.