At today’s regular meeting of the Redevelopment Commission, the approval of the painting contract for the ballpark was deferred.  Thomarios was the sole respondent for the painting contract.  It was asked if there was a reason for receiving only one bid and there were two answers given.  Some local contractors were frustrated at how the documents regarding the bid were released.  The second answer was that demand in the local market is so great right now, that most local contractors aren’t looking for work. 

It was then stated that due to some information received earlier in the day, the commission was being asked to defer approval of the contract until some things could be checked out, mainly Thomarios safety-related concerns (AFW previous post: Harrison Square Paint Bid Concerns).  There is time to check the bid a little closer and gain assurances from Thomarios regarding the safety concerns.  “We don’t think they do [have the safety-issues] , but we want to check out safety related concerns,” stated Greg Leatherman, Executive Director of the Redevelopment Department.  He went on to state that safety of employees is very important to the City and Weigand especially.  Specifics weren’t given to the Commissioners during the public meeting. 

It was also stated that Thomarios is a pretty big outfit and has completed some huge projects.  The bid Thomarios submitted was considerably lower than the engineer’s estimate which will also be checked out.  Putting off approval of this particular contract will not hold up any other portion of the project.  One of the Commissioners asked if the concerns were enough to reject the bid which would then cause the contract to be re-bid.  Redevelopment Commission Attorney John Wernet answered that, “It would be a push to reject for the concerns had.”

I spoke with Greg Leatherman shortly before the meeting began and asked if Redevelopment usually checks out-of-town contractors before awarding bids.  He stated that it depends.  Unless the component is really important to the overall design of a project, they probably do not check.  In a way this makes sense, but in this instance, something as quick as a “Google” of the company name turned up several links to articles containing the information posted earlier on this blog.

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