2 Strikes – 2X Out for Bids

And Out of Her League

We receive illustrations, via PDF, and are informed that the plans must be rushed to the engineering firm, so the project can go out for bid. We received no copies of final (or interim) plans. Upon requesting plans, I am informed that I should file an OPRA request. When I appeared at Borough Hall, the Engineer provides me with her set of plans, realizing the stupidity of the town’s request (that the owner pay for a copy of plans), showing the Borough’s intentions of modifying the owner’s property.

We are never privy to the architectural and engineering costs. The Engineer informs me that she has $120,000 for the construction process. When questioned, she quickly retracts by sending out an email that she has $163,000 available, plus another $6000 (which we informed her that could be received from our ICC benefit). Seems like all along, that simple math has been a problem with these folks. Just sayin’.

The 1st of 3 bids, yields only one bidder ($200,000); the 2nd bid yields only two bidders ($189,400 and $188.000). At both bid openings, the Engineer informs the bidders that they are substantially beyond their cost estimate for this project. Well, they didn’t have a cost estimate — only our statement, speculating that in the worst-case scenario, we felt $180,000 could complete construction end of the project! This allowed for no permitting fees. Once aware of the shortage, the Borough agreed by resolution, to waive all fees.

Having had the chance to review the plans prior to the 3rd bid, we are able to inform the Engineer that they still have not addressed the damaged sill plates or sheathing issues, as well as a relocation of the HVAC. (They were suddenly concerned about the set-back for HVAC, after they realized it existed)! These changes are added to the plans, prior to the 3rd bid.

Use this link to view T&Ms sanitized Yelp review vs. the one we saved below. Not only do they hide the review, they completely change its content. Click on one review not currently recommended to see…

The challenge for capitalism is that the things that breed trust also breed the environment for fraud.

James Surowiecki

Author: Laurie