ST. FRANCISVILLE — The Board of Aldermen on Tuesday accepted a $79,000 bid to replace or repair 12 fire hydrants amid questions whether the winning bidder, Mitchell Contracting, provided the required performance bond.
At the time of the vote, officials could not determine whether or not the performance bond had been submitted with the bid or had been misplaced by the engineering consultant.
Asked about the performance bond by town attorney Jesse Means, Mayor Billy D’Aquilla said no bond was attached to the Covington-based Mitchell Contracting bid, the lowest of four bids opened March 19 by Professional Engineering Consultants of Baton Rouge on behalf of the town.
No representatives of PEC attended Tuesday’s meeting.
“It still requires a performance bond,” Means told the board. A performance bond guarantees the city would be reimbursed if the contractor does not satisfactorily complete the work.
At one point during the council meeting, D’Aquilla went into his office to call Mitchell Contracting but got no answer.
When he returned to the meeting, he asked the board to award the bid to Mitchell Contracting with the stipulation a performance bond check is submitted.
“The specs call for a performance bond. If they can’t come up with it, we will have to go with the next (lowest) bidder,” Means said. “We need to have it as policy that no bid is accepted without the performance bond.”
D’Aquilla said the $79,000 will cover replacing six hydrants and repairing six others. He said the winning bid is $9,000 more than the two grants the city has to pay for the hydrant work, so some of the repair work might be scaled back.
In other matters Tuesday, D’Aquilla said he had received favorable reviews of the 44th Audubon Pilgrimage, and he commended those who worked to make it a success.
Also, on the recommendation of Police Chief Scott Ford, the board voted to re hire Carl Kimble as a part-time police officer.