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Motion Passes on The Gateway Landscaping Project
Friday, September 23, 2011 2:46:20 PM - Monroe Ohio


by Clerk of Courts

Mr. Brock stated this is the second reading to authorize ODOT to bid the landscaping project.
Mr. Black asked what is contained in the landscaping part of the project.
Mr. Brock replied that it is the trees, bushes, grading in the infield area of the interchange and triangle pieces, the flat work, concrete, columns, and does not include the lighting of the columns or the irrigation as those are two alternates.
Mr. Black understood that the City would have the ability to pick and choose what we wanted to do. He felt the columns were a point of contention on what we wanted to do.
Mr. Brock advised the last time we spoke we had legislation to submit those plans and set up the
base bid with the alternates and didn’t recall the direction on the columns.

Mr. Black asked since we have the grant money we have to move forward at this point? Mr. Brock advised the grant money is specifically for this project and if we do not accept the bids he would have to check with OKI to see if we can do something else with these funds. You can only use them for traffic enhancement projects. He thought that OKI would recoup those funds and use them in another place.

Mr. Black asked if we have an opportunity to modify those plans? Mr. Brock responded no.

Mrs. Rubin reminded Council that we have money bonded for this already and asked what happens if we do not spend that money.
Mr. Brock replied that we have to review the bond language and would need to obtain a legal opinion. Mr. Brock’s opinion is that the bids will come in lower than the estimates because of the timing of the bid. Six plan holders have pulled the plans.
Mrs. Rubin sought confirmation that if it is bid out we do not have to accept alternate one. If we bid it out and it comes in at the same cost as the base bid we can accept it or not.
Mr. Brock stated we will bring back the bids after the opening on October 6th and Council will have the opportunity to award the base bids and the alternates separately.Mrs. Stillman asked Mr. Black for clarification on his understanding. Mr. Black thought that we were going to do away with the towers and making it less expensive and he did not see any of that reflected. He noted the Resolution reads that it authorizes proceeding with the project.

Referring to the base bid Mrs. Stillman questioned if those who are being given the chance to submit bids will be provided a list of all the things that need to be in it or will they be provided an opportunity to substitute items. Mr. Brock informed her that the bids are very specific. Mrs. Stillman asked if we could work with ODOT and the winning bidder to change some of the items. Mr. Brock explained that it would be considered a change order, which is an additional cost. Mr. Brock recalled that he tried to get some specifics of what Council wanted as alternates and this is what he came up with as it would have been very difficult to separate the other items out.

With reference to the columns, Mrs. Hale asked if he was talking about on either end of the overpass. Mr. Brock replied that in each four of the quadrants there is a set of columns. Mrs.Hale understood there was a business person that was willing to donate towards these. Mr. Brock stated that we are unable to accept donations through the ODOT process. Mrs. Hale asked if the graffiti will be painted over. Mr. Brock will be having that conversation with Mark Wilson.

Mr. Black referenced Mr. Brock’s mention of purchasing and procurement from the State and asked if that came into play. Mr. Brock responded not at this time as the law has not gone into effect and ODOT is completely managing the project.

Mrs. Rubin asked if there is a reason not to ask for a bid for all three because we are not bound to accepting any of them until they come back and what is the benefit to requesting a base bid. Mr. Brock explained they will bid on the base bid and both alternates and we will have a choice of awarding any of the bids.

Mrs. Stillman asked what happens if we authorize getting bids and as a Council we choose to not accept any of the bids. Mr. Brock will have a discussion with ODOT and more than likely the project would just go away.

Mr. Black questioned the deadline of returning this to ODOT. Mr. Brock replied within the next thirty days. Mr. Black asked why we did not have the ability to modify the base bid. Mr. Brock explained that you had a set of plans and specifications that contractors are reviewing and bidding on. Once the bids come back we will review what the change orders would entail. If Council is unhappy with the columns and the plant materials then vote it down. If that happens he would have to discuss with ODOT what would happen as a result. 

Mr. Hickman was not under the impression that Council wants to stop the process, but with the way things are we are just looking at decreasing the price if possible. When we first started this we were pumped up about it, but that was before the retreat. He did not want to stop it because it looks terrible.Mayor Routson stated that we looked at this plan and we worked on this plan. This is the first thing we see in Monroe and if you leave it the way it is now what is that going to say to the businesses that are already there and the ones that want to come in. We have already agreed to the plan and it doesn’t hurt to change your mind, but we should move forward and make it look better.

Mr. Black echoed Mr. Hickman’s concern that after the retreat we need to look more closely at the cost.
Mrs. Rubin asked if we decide that we are not going to use $200,000 of the bonds, the people that purchased the bonds are expecting landscaping. We can’t take that money and pay for firefighters. Mr. Black pointed out that we could take that money and pay back part of the bond.
 Mrs. Waggaman explained there is typically a 10 year period before we can buy the bonds back and there is the interest that we have paid and the fees paid to issue the money. Mrs. Rubin asked what happens if we only spend $500,000 of the $700,000 bonded. Mrs. Waggaman stated that the remaining money can be used to make the future debt service payments over the next few years. There is a possibility we could use the money towards another project if it is the same type of account. Mr. Black asked if it could be transferred to the Smith Barney account to earn interest. Mrs. Waggaman advised that is part of the money that is in that account now.

Mr. Kelley asked what we spent on engineering for this interchange and what Mr. Brock would anticipate the cost would be to redraw the project. Mr. Brock replied that it was approximately $135,000 and a redraw would be approximately half that much.

Mrs. Stillman liked the fact that we are going to bid because it gives us the opportunity to obtain a realistic cost.
Mr. Black asked when Council will receive the bids. Mr. Brock advised that bids are to be returned October 6th and Council will have them within the week.

Mrs. Hale moved to read Resolution No. 44-2011 by title only and consider this the second reading; seconded by Mr. Kelley. Voice vote: seven ayes. Motion carried.
The Clerk of Council read Resolution No. 44-2011 by title only.

Mrs. Hale moved to adopt Resolution No. 44-2011; seconded by Mrs. Rubin. Roll call vote:
seven ayes. Motion carried. 

Related:  $1.45 Million Planned to Beautify Monroe I-75 Interchange.

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