Thursday, June 07, 2001

Commissioners award bids for ballpark work

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A local firm with irregularities in its bid for work at Great American Ball Park won Wednesday, while another local firm with irregularities lost.

        Waltek Company, Ltd., a Cincinnati company, was awarded a $4.4 million contract to install metal wall panels and a curtain wall.

        Although Waltek's bid was $225,000 lower than an Indianapolis firm, construction managers wanted to give the job to ASI Limited because of “irregularities” in Waltek's bid — there was a math error, the company did not write out the amount of the bid and it failed to submit a small business enterprise form.

        Construction managers said the Reds would pick up the extra cost. But in spite of its problems, Hamilton County commissioners gave the job to Waltek.

        “For my money, we have to go with the local contractor who is the low bidder,” Commissioner Todd Portune said. “If the Reds are going to spend an extra $250,000, I'd rather them spend it on a pitcher.”

        Don Saylers Masonry of Florence, wasn't so lucky.

        The firm's bid of $7.7 million — $500,000 lower than Batts Construction of Indianapolis — was rejected because it failed to submit a bid bond.

        Bid bonds are required by Ohio law. They are a kind of insurance policy that would protect the county in case the company goes bankrupt.

        Carl Stich, a chief assistant prosecuting attorney, told commissioners they can waive some irregularities such as those in the Waltek case. But they can not waive requirements under law.


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