By Kevin Kelley
After much discussion, City Council and the administration of Mayor Eileen Patton have settled the matter of choosing a contractor to fix the roof of City Hall.
An ordinance approving a contract with Tremco/Weatherproofing Technologies Inc. was approved by City Council at a special meeting Monday night.
The city selected Tremco in 2008, through the State Cooperative Purchasing Program, to fix the roof. The state purchasing program allows participating municipalities to buy goods and services through existing state contracts rather than negotiating their own separate contracts with the goal of saving time and money.
Tremco fixed the flat section of the building’s roof and submitted a master plan to complete the entire roof, Mayor Eileen Patton said; however, a tight budget prevented the city from having the entire roof repaired at that time.
The city was about the move further on the roof matter when Superstorm Sandy hit last November, causing damage to the roof. The city received $90,000 for the repairs from its insurance company, plus $1,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Tremco’s original $113,000 estimate was still valid, meaning very little money for the repairs would have to come from the city’s general fund, Patton said.
“They knew our needs so we just went back to them, because they’re certified by the state,” Patton explained.
However, some City Council members questioned the selection of Tremco and asked that contractors be considered through the state purchasing program.
At a July 22 council committee meeting, service Director Rob Berner reviewed the bid of Tremco and two additional companies with members. One of the additional bids was $18,000 more than Tremco’s. The other, while $1,500 less, was deemed unresponsive by the city, meaning it lacked specific information related to the roof project.
Ward 5 Councilman Pete Matia said he thought $113,000 was an excessive price for the project and wanted the city to conduct a formal bid for the repair job. He said he spoke to roofing suppliers and contractors, whom he did not name, who reportedly said the roof repair could be done for less than half of Tremco’s bid.
“I still believe if we went out to bid we could do it better,” Matia said.
Berner and law Director Sara Fagnilli said conducting a formal bid would require the city to hire an engineering architect to write up formal specifications for the project, a process that would cost an additional $5,000 to $10,000. The additional time spent might mean repairs would not be completed before winter, they said.
Ward 4 Councilman John Hinkel concluded it was unlikely the city could obtain a better price than that submitted by Tremco and pressed council to make a decision on the matter.
A motion made by Matia to reject the three bids failed 5-1. A subsequent motion to send an ordinance accepting Tremco’s bid to Council for passage was approved by a 5-1 vote, with Matia dissenting. Council President Mike Kilbane was not in attendance at the committee meeting.