After a lengthy discussion, council members unanimously voted to authorize an $19,180 agreement with Phoenix Fire Systems to install a clean agent fire suppression system in the city hall computer server room.
Council budget $15,000 for the project in the 2011 budget, but after spending $6,995 for bid services related to the project, only $8,000 remained. The sole bid the city received for the project totaled $19,180 – a difference of $11,800.
David Greene, public works director, said bid packets were sent to five different companies, but only one responded. Council member Larry Fotovich questioned whether city staff could get other companies on the phone to proactively acquire more bids.
“That would violate your bid process,” Greene said. “It’s supposed to be a sealed bid.”
Fotovich said it’s the minimum process.
“That doesn’t mean you can’t go back,” he said.
However, council member Chris Morrow disagreed.
“There’s no fairness to the people who do bid,” Morrow said.
Fotovich asked if in the future, city staff could call potential voters in advance of the deadline to proactively seek additional bids.
“This is a process we’ve been using for a long time,” interim city administrator Melissa Mundt, who attended the meeting via telephone, said. “Staff hasn’t done anything wrong. We can’t force people to bid.”
“I understand that. I just want to find a creative solution to proactively pursue people in the future,” Fotovich explained.
Council could have opted to delay or nix the project or to re-bid the project, but Green there were additional challenges in finding lower bids in the future.
Greene said the gas used to suppress fires is used in refrigeration components.
“There’s a shortage for this, and prices are going to go up,” Greene said. “There doesn’t seem to be any end in sight.”
City officials will use $2,700 from savings in the facility maintenance budget and $8,480 from the information technology services line item to fund the additional project cost.
In other business, council members:
• passed 2011 updates to the “Standard Traffic Ordinance for Kansas Cities,” and the “Uniform Public Offense Code for Kansas Cities.” Both publications are updated each year by the League of Kansas Municipalities based on changes made by the Kansas Legislature. Finance director Laura Gourley told council members there were no significant changes to either document.
• authorized a $7,650 change order to include painting “Gardner” on the 183rd Street water tower. The change order brings the total water tower painting project cost to $196,817.
• authorized a $94,739 contract with American Marking and Paving, LLC, for a project to improve Pumpkin Ridge Street from Moonlight Road to Stone Creek Drive and Witch Hollow Street from Stone Creek Drive to the cul-de-sac just east of Moonlight Road. Greene said the project will last approximately 12 days. Nearby residents will be notified by flyers of the project.
• terminated a 1937 contract that allowed water to back up onto property that is now part of University Park subdivision. Due to changes in floodplains, Gardner Lake is no longer at risk of backing up onto the property, and the contract is no longer necessary.
Council buys fire suppression unit