At Tuesday’s Greenville City Council meeting, the council voted unanimously to reject the two bids on the Hancock Force Main Project.
Most government contracts above a certain amount have to go out for bids and that was done in this case.
The city earlier this year received two bids for the repairs on the Hancock pump station, one from Wallace C. Drennan Inc., of New Orleans, Louisiana, and one from Quadex Lining Systems LLC, of Houston, Texas.
The city’s $4.5 million bid from Quadex Lining Systems was nearly $2 million less than the bid from Wallace C. Drennan. The city reported to both companies they would be accepting the lowest bid.
On Aug. 1, the city received a letter of protest from Drennan concerning the city’s decision to accept the bid from Quadex.
City Attorney Andy Alexander said it wasn’t long before the city received another letter of protest from Drennan.
“We actually got an additional protest on Tuesday afternoon and they made additional complaints,” Alexander said. “We did agree that there wasn’t any serious issues with the bid and to a certain extent, Drennan would’ve had the same issues that they were protesting.”
Quadex Lining Systems Vice President Brent Keller and Attorney Lynn Thompson with Wallace C. Drennan were both present at this week’s city council meeting. Thompson stated that after hearing the complaints from the citizens of Greenville, she is sympathetic to their problems and she hopes that even though the city rejected their bid, the city fixes their problem.
Keller said he can personally relate to the flooding issues because he was recently affected by Hurricane Barry and similar to Thompson, he wanted the city to assist the residents who have suffered from the water staging.
City council members ultimately voted to reject both bids to avoid possibly going to court, which would delay the starting time on the project.
“Given all of the circumstances with the flood staging continuing to damage this lift station, we were concerned that because of the protest that this would lead to ligation so we voted that this was deemed an emergency condition,” Alexander continued.
The Hancock Force Main Project has always been a de facto emergency, Alexander said.
Mayor Errick Simmons said the actions of the council was supported by testimonial evidence of the residents and their city engineer, Bill Burle.
“The good news is that the current administration is not turning an blind eye to our aging infrastructure,” Simmons said. “We are working. We have spent over 16 million dollars this year on repairs on transportation and sewer infrastructure.”
Information on the Hancock Pump Station
The Hancock Pump Station is, roughly, a two and a half mile force main replacement project that goes from North Theobald Street to South Theobald Street
“We are trying to increase the capacity of the force main by increasing the diameter from 16 inches to 20 inches,” said Bill Burle, of W.L. Burle Enginners.
The pump station, he said, is also in need of incidental work on the air relief valves and railroad crossings.