Martic skips over low bidder for materials
BY DEAN LEE EVANS, Correspondent
A bidder for highway material in Martic Township found out April 1 that having the low bid doesn't necessarily mean you are going to win the contract.
Four companies submitted bids to the township to apply oil and chip on township roads.
"But there was an issue this morning when we opened bids," roadmaster Mike Rankin said during the township meeting.
The four bids for the oil and chip were Asphalt Maintenance Solutions of Newville for $41,939.10, Martin Paving of Lititz for $42,058.91, Hammaker of Fayetteville for $44,335 and Midland Asphalt of Bloomsburg for $55,119.96.
Rankin said one of the bid specifications he requires is that all bidders come to the township for a ride-along on township roads.
"That's so we can compare apples to apples and everyone knows what we are bidding," he said.
However, Rankin said the low bidder for the oil and chip, Asphalt Maintenance Solutions, was the only bidder that did not schedule a ride-along.
"I was shocked (AMS) bid because I know they didn't ride with me," said Rankin.
"How did AMS know what to bid on?" asked supervisor Beth Birchall.
A representative for AMS, who arrived late to the meeting, said company officials did ride the roads on their own time and were confident in their bid.
But supervisor chairman Duane Sellers wasn't convinced.
He compared the situation with the AMS bid to a contractor that doesn't meet with a homeowner for a home improvement project.
After further discussion, the board sided with Rankin's position and opted to award the oil and chip contract to the second-lowest bidder, Martin Paving, whose bid was $119.81 higher than the low bidder.
After the meeting, Rankin said based on a per-square-foot price, the two bids for oil and chip were extremely close. The AMS bid came in at $1.05 per square foot, while the Martin Paving bid was $1.053.
Rankin said the bid would have been a tie without the extra digit on the Martin bid.
Also, Independence Construction Materials of Malvern was awarded the bid for various sizes and tonnages of stone for road projects.
Rankin said Independence came in as the lowest bidder overall with the exception of one type of stone, which was about 20 cents higher than other bidders.
"Independence beat everyone out except for 2A (stone size)," said Rankin.
But Rankin said that based on the tonnage of that one type of stone the township would use, he did not recommend breaking up the stone bids.
"Lets keep everything wrapped up in one bid," he said.
Also approved was a bid from Martin Limestone of East Earl for 400 tons of anti-skid material at $4.51 per ton.
Additionally at the meeting, the board approved the sale of two pieces of equipment sent to a municipal auction. A bid for a wood chipper was received in the amount of $4,801 and a bid for a 2005 Cub Cadet lawnmower came in at $1,751.99.
Supervisor Carl Drexler said he was very pleased with the bids "given the condition of the equipment."
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