Council Forced to Re-Bid Arch Project

RIDGEWAY (Feb. 16, 2017) – The Town of Ridgeway had to take a step back and reload last week on plans to stabilize the old school arch after the winning bidder pulled out of the deal.

Council last month awarded the job to Ralph Goldman, whose bid of $15,007.20 came in under bids by W.C. Crosby Construction ($18,274) and H&H Masonry ($26,200). But during Council’s Feb. 9 meeting, Mayor Charlene Herring said Goldman was overwhelmed with work at his full-time job and had withdrawn his bid.

After Goldman’s withdrawal, Herring said she contacted the other two companies and asked for new bids from each. On this second go-round, Crosby submitted a bid of $12,817.23, while H&H submitted a bid of $15,000.

“The H&H bid is a little bit higher,” Herring said. “The reason it is, he said, is because there was prior work done on the arch that was not done correctly, and he feels like in order for it to really be stabilized some of it needs to be undone.”

Ridgeway has received grant funds totaling $20,135 to finish the arch and fence in both the arch and the proposed playground nearby. Council accepted Herring’s recommendation and elected to award the arch work to H&H, leaving $5,000 for fencing.

Last month, Council received two bids in the $6,000 range and one bid of $1,252 for fencing in the arch area. Concerned with the quality of the low-bid fencing submitted by JMS Fencing, Council during their Jan. 19 meeting agreed to ask the company for a quote on commercial grade fencing.

Last week, JMS bid itself out of contention with an offer of $25,950 to fence in both the arch and playground sites. That left Council with a $6,481 bid from Guardian and a $6,338 bid from Fence It for the arch site. Guardian’s bid for the playground site came in at $6,975, while Fence It offered $8,600.

Council chose Guardian for both sites, agreeing to make up the difference in grant funds with money taken from one of the Town’s CDs, which contain money from the insurance settlement after the collapse of the old school’s roof several years ago. Some, if not all, of the Town’s contribution could be reimbursed with phase two of a Parks and Recreation grant in two years.

With all wheels now apparently in motion for a refurbished arch, the primary proposed use of the arch immediately raised another concern.

Herring said the Town had received several inquiries about using the arch site for weddings, but for that use Councilman Donald Prioleau pointed out a serious deficiency at the site.

“I can’t see a bride going in a port-a-john, or bride’s maids or grooms going into a port-a-john,” Prioleau said. “That’s a critical area I think we overlooked and we’re going to have to find the funds for that, too.”

Prioleau pointed out that Council in 2015 had an opportunity for a facility near the arch that would have had rest rooms, when the County was considering the site for a recreation center.

“If we had accepted that recreation center, we could have had all that for free,” Prioleau said. “And we’re still going to put in a playground, which is still recreation.”

Councilwoman Angela Harrison suggested a remodeling of the Teacherage near the arch site could be a possibility for rest rooms. Councilman Doug Porter said Council may want to take additional funds from a CD and move forward with rest rooms right away.

“If someone wants to do the homework on that for costs, we’d be glad to open it up,” Herring said.


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