Appleton demo bids rejected

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Swift County’s Board of Commissions voted unanimously to reject the two bids it had received for the demolition of three dilapidated buildings in Appleton at its meeting Tuesday, Oct. 16.

It also moved to re-advertise the project with a new set of specifications for the job.

It wasn’t what low bidder Dennis Larson, president of MAAC, Inc., in Montevideo wanted to see from the county board. He believes the decision to rebid the job with his bid already public will lead to some outside company, perhaps one from the Twin Cities, to now come in and get the bid.

Larson’s displeasure with the county board goes back to its approval of the bid of T&K Kennedy Excavating, Inc., of Benson, at its Sept. 4 meeting despite it being $40,000 higher. Kennedy’s bid was $217,080 while MAAC’s was $177,112.

Commissioners cited two reasons for taking Kennedy’s bid over MAAC’s. They said it was more detailed and that Kennedy was local (a county taxpayer.)

Kennedy’s bid included a deduction of $24,360 for leaving a wall and footings in place on West Snelling and North Miles on a separate page submitted with his bid. The work cited in the attachment was not listed in the specifications. Even if it had been, T&K’s bid would still have been $15,608 above MAAC’s bid.

Kennedy also listed a savings of $675 per load for demolition materials that could be separated from those containing asbestos. Disposing of materials at a hazardous waste site is more expensive than regular demolition debris, partially because of the distance the material has to be hauled. It was estimated the savings could be about $7,000 if the loads were separated. That would still have left Kennedy’s bid more than $8,000 above MAAC’s.

When he spoke to the board at its Sept. 18 meeting, Larson challenged the bidding process and board’s logic in awarding it to Kennedy.

The details of the scope of work to be done were set out in the bid specifications, he said. MAAC stated precisely how it would meet those specifications, Larson said. Further, he said that T&K’s bid did not comply with the bid requirements in that it did not include a licensed asbestos hauler. Larson’s company is licensed for asbestos removal....


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