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Ludington City Council OK’s new sidewalk contractor

March 13, 2019

The Ludington City Council on Monday awarded the 2019 sidewalk replacement bid to the contractor Ruggles & Son Masonry.

Ruggles & Son is a Hart-based masonry and concrete company. It’s bid to do the work was the second lowest of the four bids the city received. The other three contractors considered were Spuller Concrete, Schultz Excavating and Albert Lucas Construction. Albert Lucas was eliminated from consideration because it didn’t follow the bid instructions of listing its prices for services.

The lowest-bidding contractor was the Branch-based company Spuller Concrete, which the city has contracted with for several years. However, this time the Public Safety/Utilities Committee recommended the council choose the second-lowest bidder, Ruggles & Son, instead.

Councilor Dave Bourgette, who chairs the Public Safety/Utilities Committee, said the committee made its recommendation because in recent years Spuller had “performance issues that had not improved after speaking with him.”

“The committee discussed the importance of getting the work done in a timely manner and the contractor having the ability to handle the amount of work that needs to be completed during the construction season,” Bourgette added.

During the council meeting, Councilor Angela Serna asked for clarification about what issues the city has had with Spuller and when.

“Performance issues, as far as the quality of work (and) timely getting the work done,” Bourgette replied.

He then referenced a public comment made by resident Tom Rotta about a death in the Spuller family during last year. Rotta questioned whether the death had affected Spuller’s work performance, and he criticized the city for not selecting the lowest bidder. Bourgette said the issues with Spuller have been ongoing for several years.

“This was something that started the year before, and there were discussions made in the year before about his performance in getting the work done in a timely matter,” he said.

In comparing cost per square foot, Ruggles & Son charges 25 to 50 cents more than Spuller for removal of existing sidewalks or sod. The cost of forming and pouring new sidewalks with Ruggles & Son is also 75 cents more. Root and stump removal costs $5 more with Ruggles & Son, wheelchair ramps cost $50 more, and stamped and colored pavers cost $5 more. But forming and pouring a new curb and pan costs $5 less with Ruggles & Son than with Spuller.

“The committee took into consideration that awarding the bid to the second-lowest bidder will result in an increase in the cost of sidewalk construction that will be shared by both the city and the property owner,” Bourgette said. “Although there is a slight difference between the two lowest bids, the overall difference in the actual cost of construction will vary based upon the amount of work and the type of work that will need to be done.”

FIRE STATION

The council also approved Change Order No. 2 for the construction of the new Ludington fire station, in the amount of $34,320.28.

The city previously approved Change Order No. 1 for $22,855. A third change order is still pending for an additional estimated $12,677.30. If Change Order No. 3 is also approved at a later meeting, the three change orders would total about $69,852, leaving approximately $37,647 remaining from the original $107,500 contingency fund for the construction project.

The change orders have included modifications to the original building design, such as installing a concrete patio, a curb, a non-slip floor epoxy, electrical work and other improvements.

OTHER BUSINESS

The council approved an amendment to the agreement the city has already made with the City of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, regarding the $5 million federal FASTLANE grant that is helping to finance the Lake Michigan Carferry dock replacement project that is currently underway. The amendment changes the schedule of when Ludington submits its reimbursement requests to the federal government.

The council confirmed Mayor Steve Miller’s appointments to the ad hoc Recreational Marijuana Committee — residents Natasha Worden, Shawnee Chapa and Steve von Pfahl — who were chosen by a group of residents during a public meeting March 5.