Friday, October 3, 2008

Bexley, Ohio. John Matuszak reports on police bids and budget to be revised.

Bexley police bids come in; budget to be revised

Bexley City Council opened a second round of bids for its proposed police station Sept. 30, and appears to have come a little closer to the mark on the estimated cost. The latest figures have city officials hopeful that they might be able to lock in costs and possibly break ground this fall.

The second set was needed after the first bids came in around one million dollars above the architect's estimate of $4.5 million. Bids for public projects must be within 10 percent of estimates, which disqualifie all of the seven bids received.

That led the planners to revise their estimate for the base bid to $5.4 million. The entire project is slated to come in at around $7.4 million.

The low bidder is Thomas & Marker, which submitted a bid of $5,416,000.

Other bidders included Ferguson Construction, at $5,498,000; Charter Hill, $5,571,000; 2K General, $5,591,000; Altman, $5,444,000; Robertson, $5,479,000; and Gutnecht, $5,425,000.

In a memo to his employees, police Chief Larry Rinehart announced the results and predicted that they could see activity on the Delmar Avenue site within "weeks."

Rinehart put weeks in quotations as a sign of his often-stated cautious optimism and the reality that this project has proceeded in fits and starts over 10 years.

The next job for council members and city administators will be to review the bids before awarding the contract. Mayor John Brennan said he will send the bids to the council members, who could act within a couple of weeks.

Council is scheduled to meet October 7 to continue discussions on the city's 2009 budget. Brennan did not know if they would be ready to talk about the bids at that time.

City Auditor Larry Heiser is reporting that next year's budget picture might not be as rosy as previously believed. Officials had hoped to trim at least $1.7 million off of this year's spending. But after receiving updated budget requests from department heads, Heiser thinks that may not be realistic.

The latest budget figures show projected revenue of $9.8 million in 2009, and $11.7 million in general fund expenditures. That scenario would leave the city with a fund balance of less that $250,000 at the end of the year. This year's fund balance is estimated at $2.1 million.

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Design is copyright 2008. All rights reserved. Bexley Public Radio Foundation. Text is copyright 2008. All rights reserved. John Matuszak.

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