BERWICK — Officials awarded a $1.15 million contract to construct 33 new lots in Phase V of Renwick Subdivision Tuesday night, but not before dealing with a bit of controversy.
Low bidder LA Contracting Enterprise LLC in Thibodaux won the contract, but second lowest bidder Byron E. Talbot Contractor Inc., also in Thibodaux, protested the award.
Because of a question regarding entering a “0” in the quantity portion of the cost tabulation versus not doing so, a suggestion which did not affect any final bid amounts, the protest was lodged.
Town Attorney Allen McElroy reviewed the law and spoke with project engineer Miller Engineers of Franklin. The engineering firm advised the bidders and sent a letter of “non-binding suggestions” March 22, but did not believe the situation rose to the level of creating additional bid documents, McElroy explained.
This being the case, McElroy said he believed it was legal for the council to deny the protest and issued a lengthy motion which the council unanimously approved to award the bid.
It expressly states that if any court of law finds “that the bid of LA Contracting Enterprise is not the lowest valid bidder and rules that the lowest bidder on the project is Byron E. Talbot Contractor, then in such event the Town of Berwick finds that there is just cause to reject all bids and does reject all bids and readvertise and rebid the project.”
The motion goes on to add that “in the event that (awarding the bid to LA Contracting) is not legally authorised then to reject all bids and to re-advertise and re-bid the project” and to execute the contract on or before April 27.
In other action, the town council:
—Introduced an ordinance refinancing the Renwick Boulevard extension bonds from a rate of 4.62 percent to 2.15 percent in order to save the town $30,000 over the life of the bond.
—Approved a resolution providing certifications to the state for sewer reconstruction on Third and Fourth streets and Sinclair Alley, for which the state is providing the town $50,000.
—Received $22,000 from the Berwick Housing Authority as a payment in lieu of property taxes.
—Approved an annual payment to Keep St. Mary Beautiful totaling $4,954.
—Held public hearings but received no comment on the Cleco franchise agreement and a conditional use permit for a 300-by-400 foot pond on Old Spanish Trail. They also approved both items.
—Passed a resolution applying for a Louisiana Recreational Trails grant.
—Approved a proclamation declaring Fair Housing Month.