Monroe rejects project bids after mistake due to coronavirus protocols

COVID-19 social distancing guidelines and related revised procedures in accepting bids has resulted in Monroe City Council rejecting all bids for the programs to repair concrete and meet accessibility guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

City Manager William Brock told council that an addendum was sent out to have all bids collected at the lower level of the city building where all of the other documents were being collected. He said a box marked “sealed bids” was placed on a table on the building’s lower level to be dropped off on the morning of the bid.

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However, one bid had been dropped off on the table prior to the morning of April 2, he said. Brock said that bid was picked up by the person responsible to gather and distribute mail internally. Because they were unsure what the envelope was, it was erroneously opened and placed in the public works mailbox at the city building and was forwarded to the public works department on the day after the bids were publicly opened and not knowing it was part of the bid.

Brock said because the bid had been received in the proper time frame and not read with the other bids at the time of opening as well as the unsealed bid made it illegal to accept the bid, he recommended council reject all bids in fairness to all.

Council approved rejecting all the bids and authorized the public works department to advertise and re-bid the project.

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Council approved a motion to spend $232,000 for the purchase of a 2019 Horton Ambulance that will be placed on a Ford F550 chassis which is in production.

The city will be trading in a 2010 Horton Ambulance which is on an International chassis as part of the vehicle replacement plan. Council had previously approved the purchase of a new ambulance as part of the city’s Capital Budget process.

Councilman Todd Hickman, noting a resident’s letter asking council not to spend city funds due to the reduced revenues because of the coronavirus closings, asked if the purchase could be postponed until city revenues improve after the Stay at Home orders expire.

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Brock told Hickman that the funds can only be used for public safety capital improvements and purchases and could not be moved into other city funds.

Mayor Jason Frentzel asked if there was a price expiration for the purchase. Brock said the city was at the end of a nine-month process and if there are any changes, the city would have to start the process from the beginning.

Council also approved a pair of emergency ordinances approving final plats for The Trails of Todhunter, Section One, Blocks A and B.

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