Mad River Union
McKINLEYVILLE – A local construction company is protesting the low bid submitted for McKinleyville’s multi-million-dollar sewer upgrade, claiming that its out-of-town competitor failed to submit all that was required in the process, and therefore should not receive the contract.
The McKinleyville Community Services District (MCSD) Board of Directors will consider the protest at its meeting today, Dec. 9 starting at 7 p.m. at Azalea Hall, 1620 Pickett Rd., McKinleyville,
In October, the MCSD received bids for the massive sewer plant upgrade for its facility at Hiller Park. The project will convert the sewer plant into a mechanical system that will produce cleaner sewer effluent to keep up with state-mandated standards.
The MCSD received three bids for the project. Auburn Constructors Inc., based in Auburn, submitted the lowest bid of $12,327,300. The next lowest bid was from Wahlund Construction Inc. in Eureka, which came in at $12,472,900, 1.2 percent, or $145,600 more than Auburn. The third lowest bid was from Mercer Fraser of Eureka at $15,836,000.
In November, the MCSD board awarded the contract to the low bidder, Auburn Constructors.
Wahlund Construction has since protested Auburn’s bid, claiming that it is non-responsive because it did not contain back-up documentation called for by the MCSD in the bid request. Because of this, the bid should go to Wahlund Construction, according to the company.
The MCSD, however, has consulted with its attorney, who argues that the back-up documentation is immaterial.
Staff is recommending that the protest be rejected and that the contract be awarded to Auburn.
At tonight’s meeting, the board will give the companies an opportunity to make their arguments and then will decide the issue.
Also at tonight’s meeting, the directors Helen Edwards and John Corbett will be sworn in for another four years in office. The directors were up for election in November. Both signed up to run, but there were no opponents, so they retained their seats.
The board is scheduled to select its officers and make committee appointments.
For 2015, Corbett served as the board president, while George Wheeler served as the vice president.
The MCSD now rotates its board officers. For 2016, Wheeler is scheduled to be the president, and Edwards the vice president.