County hesitates on low bid for roof repair

Staff writer

It seemed too good to be true, like a trick.

Marion County Commission read the bids for repair of the courthouse tower roof, inside and out, and one bid was about a third of the other two bids.

After much deliberation, the commission approved the bid from Arrow Roofing of Canton for the project for $54,480. Delta Roofing of Kansas City gave a bid of $154,101. Wray Roofing of Newton offered a bid of $134,893.

Expensive equipment rentals and labor costs explained the high bids from two of the companies. Technical consultant Greg Leslie of Garland Company said Arrow must have its own machinery. The difference in travel could not account for the large discrepancy. However, Leslie said the Arrow representative understood what he was bidding.

“We’ve never had a bid come in this wacky,” Commission Chairman Dan Holub said.

Leslie said Arrow’s bid was bonded, meaning if the company stepped away from the job because it was losing money, the bond would pay for the difference in cost to finish the job using another contractor. Leslie also said he would be onsite to take pictures at the beginning of the job and assess progress to make sure the roof was being completed.

“When one bid is significantly lower than the other two, what guarantee do we have that the same job gets done?” commissioner Roger Fleming asked.

After a miscommunication about the courthouse roof, the commission asked Leslie to prepare bids for the rest of the roofing project including concrete work for the crossovers that have become brittle on the roof. Leslie said the county would have to hire a structural engineer to assess the project.

 

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