Confusion reigns as Weatherbee contract is rebid…

Various mistakes and errors in the “vast majority” of the 10 bids submitted.

Youngstown, Ohio’s Board of Control this morning will consider a request by the city engineer to reject all of the bids submitted for demolition and remediation work at the site of the former Weatherbee Coat Factory and seek new bids.

In September, the city was awarded a $657,396 Clean Ohio grant for the work. Last year, Valley Foods announced plans to expand operations into the former Weatherbee building to accommodate expected business growth.

The city sought bids to demolish and clean up the four-story section of the building on the east end of the property, said Sarah Lown, city development incentive manager. That section of the building is about 100 years old “and more costly to rehabilitate than to tear down and build new,” she said.

In his request to reject the bids and rebid the work, Charles Shasho, deputy director of public works, cited “various mistakes and errors” in the “vast majority” of the 10 bids submitted. The work was broken down into four different base bids depending on the scope of the work, Shasho said.

The errors included proposal sheets that were improperly filled out, listing lump-sum prices for individual items rather than unit prices, he said. In some cases the proposals were not returned intact or filled out completely, and in a couple cases the bids exceeded the engineer’s estimate of $553,560.

“We just didn’t feel it was representative of a competitive bid process,” Shasho said. “There was some confusion in the way these bids came to us,” Lown added.

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