E911 Center contract awarded

Published 9:04 am Tuesday, January 6, 2015

WINTON – After considering the six bids submitted, the Hertford County Board of Commissioners on Monday unanimously voted to award Cadet Construction Co. – a two-year old Raleigh-based company – the contract to build the county’s new E911 and Emergency Operations Center.

The final three bids the county considered were A.R. Chesson of Williamston, builders of the new Hertford County Courthouse and Government Complex located on US-158 near Winton; Cadet; and H.G. Reynolds, located in Henderson.

Also considered were higher bids submitted by Calvin Davenport, Burney & Burney, and Harrod.

Prior to the awarding of the bid, the Commissioners considered three motions: eliminating and waiving minor irregularities in some of the bid submissions which would have dropped the number of bids to three; to take Base Bid plus an Alternate 2 in evaluating the bids; and finally choosing the lowest responsible bidder based on price, experience, quality of work, performance, and time.

“I think those irregularities would be considered minor,” said County Attorney Charles Revelle of the first motion to waive the irregularities, thus allowing all six bids to be considered.

The Commissioners voted unanimously to waive the irregularities since it provided no advantage to any of the other firms bidding on the project.

“There were some wide variations in some of the alternates which are not explainable, but you have the ability to negotiate with whichever contractor you end up selecting,” Revelle added prior to the second motion being unanimously accepted.

Prior to the vote on the final motion, the Board heard an evaluation on the final-three from Becker-Morgan Group Vice-President Ernest Olds, architects on the E911 and Emergency Operations Center.

Olds stated that all bids were received by mid-December and after reviewing any possible discrepancies, he informed the Commissioners of his final recommendations and the criteria for their selection.

Chesson was the lowest bidder at $2,514,865 but Olds pointed out there was concern with several non-conforming issues noted in Chesson’s current work on the Courthouse and Government Complex, where some issues have arisen.

“In our estimation that’s not a type of experience recommendation that would be favorable to us,” Olds stated.

Cadet was the second bidder based on Base Bid plus Alternate 2; and though they were a relatively new company, Olds noted that the principals within their company had been in the construction business for quite some time. Olds added that Cadet had received a very favorable review following one of their most recent projects in OnslowCounty at Camp Lejeune Marine Base.

“They were professional, managed schedules quite well, were very highly regarded and delivered the project ahead of schedule which made quite an impression,” Olds remarked. “So I found their reference was positive.”

H.B. Reynolds was third in line, Olds said, and a check with their representatives spoke highly of their projects also.

“They were fair, creative in problem-solving, and managed sub-contractors and projects well,” Olds reported. “So I would say they met the standard of providing a good experience.”

After evaluating all three, and based on the recommendations, Olds said his firm would recommend Cadet.

County Manager Loria Williams added that the owner, architect, and contractor meet on a monthly basis so that all of the issues, failure in oversight and failure in performance are addressed and re-addressed every 30 days.

“The contract documents call for and provide a very well-defined process for submittals and requests for information and changes to any scope that a sub-contractor may feel unnecessary to any specifications, so the process is well defined,” Williams stated.

Despite Chesson being the low bidder, Williams said there were some question as to their being the most responsible bidder in light of their performance with the construction of the Government Center and Courthouse, a project which is now some 90 days delayed.

Commissioner Curtis Freeman then made the recommendation – in the form of a motion – of awarding the E911 and Emergency Operations Center bid to Cadet Construction, citing reference checks, as well as positive recommendations from the architect and the County Manager.

“The contract is awarded (to Cadet) as the lowest responsible bidder when considering price, experience, quality of work, performance and time specified for performance,” Freeman said.

When there was no further discussion, or questions, Board Chairman William Mitchell called for the vote and the recommendation of the awarding the contract to Cadet Construction for the sum of $2,636,000 for Base Bid plus Alternate 2 passed unanimously.