Low bidder gets bridge contract

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By Anya Tikka
— Dingman supervisors say the lowest price isn't always the best choice when it comes to awarding a construction project.

When discussing the Cornelia/Florence Bridge Preserve at the intersection of Route 6 and Twin Lakes Road, Chair Tom Mincer said the wisest route may not be to go for the lowest bidder, although it may seem the best course at first. The project did end up being awarded to the lowest bidder, Stracka, with Ciccone and Leeward also submitting bids.

The value of the contract with Stracka is $450,568. Ciccone had offered $586,961, and Leeward $562,894.

Board members and town solicitor John Klemeyer said they had a process for evaluating the bidders to make sure they all were reputable and able to do the job. he bidder’s reputation is important because if there’s a problem down the line with delivering the work on time, or supplies run out, the project may end up costing more than planned, negating the cost-saving gesture, Mincer explained.

“We have to make sure in a project like this the work is done correctly across the board, and the way we do major projects,” Mincer said.

The town used an outside company McLane Associates from Scranton who have advised the town on previous projects to evaluate the bids. Thomas McLane, the principal landscape architect, told the board that he’s worked with Stracka before on other projects.

“All bidders had qualifications to do this job based on what they’ve done and what they’re capable of," McLane said. "We put all their numbers on a spreadsheet, and highlighted where there were differences to make sure we understood what we were looking at."

McLane recommended awarding the contract to Stracka.

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