A large number of people attended yesterday morning’s opening of the bids for the new Starke County Jail facility, including representatives for DLZ, Skillman Corporation and the Building Corporation. The county commissioners officially stopped accepting bids for the work shortly after opening the meeting, but it was noted that one contractor is filing a protest because he felt “excluded” from the bid process.
County Attorney Martin Lucas explained that a pre-approval process was used to ensure that any contractors who submitted bids were competent and able to complete the work “effectively and timely,” because time is critical. He said DLZ and Skillman Corporation must have confidence in the bidders, and the bidder in question submitted documentation late and to the wrong office.
The bids were submitted in 10 different categories: general trades and sitework, masonry, drywall and acoustical, flooring, painting, kitchen equipment, detention equipment and security electronics, fire suppression, plumbing, mechanical, and electrical. A large number of contractors submitted bids for the work, including some who submitted combined bids; that is, a combination of categories, such as masonry, flooring and painting, at a discount.
After more than an hour of hearing proposals, base bids and the cost of proposed alternate bids, the commissioners passed a motion to take the bids under advisement to allow the Skillman Corporation to review them and return their recommendation.