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Council to reject fence bid

By Erika Pedroza | Published Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fearing the accuracy of an old adage, the Bridgeport City Council wants to avoid “getting what they paid for” on a fence around the city’s Northwest OHV Park.

During a workshop meeting last Tuesday, elected officials expressed concern that the bid of $65,000 for a perimeter fence around the 300 acres was too low.

The rugged terrain, rock hills and graded gravel roads attract off-highway vehicle enthusiasts from all over the state and country. Councilmembers were afraid at $65,000, the fence would not be of good quality or last as long as needed.

Because action is not allowed on workshop discussion items, the council will vote at its next meeting, Tuesday, May 21, to reject the bid and ask Ryan Nolting, the director of parks and recreation, to rebid the project with more detailed specifications.

The city was awarded an $87,079 grant in 2011 through the Texas Parks and Wildlife National Recreational Trails program. Paired with the city’s 20-percent match, a $21,770 contribution in labor, the city has $108,849 to spend for items including a new perimeter fence, rescue/maintenance vehicles, signage and hand tools.

The council asked city staff to present the council with a prioritized list of items to be funded by the grant at a meeting in April.

Because the perimeter of the park is not completely fenced, and in the sections that are, the fence is so old that it serves no purpose, security has been a concern since the park opened in August 2009. That makes the fence the staff’s main priority.

But the competitive bid process that began in March brought only one bid – $65,000 from 3H Fence.

Replacing the utility vehicle was the staff’s second-highest priority. The current vehicle is “old, showing hard wear and tear and has trouble accessing the high-rated trails.” Three companies submitted bids to supply two vehicles – one for the parks and rec department and the other for police patrolling the trails. Bids were $27,197 from Four Wheels of Texas; $27,954 from Decatur Powersports; and $24,601 from AgPower Inc.

The third and fourth priorities identified were signs denoting the level of difficulty of each trail; and hand tools such as chain and hand saws to maintain the park.

Improvements must be completed by July 15, 2015.

PERSONNEL MANUAL

By a 3-2 vote, the council OK’d revisions to the Personnel and Administrative Regulations Manual (PARM), as suggested by the review committee comprised of the city’s human resources department, the city administrator and the management team,

Changes were made to require direct deposit of paychecks and to align with changes in state law that allow concealed handgun-licensed employees to store and transport a firearm or ammunition in their privately owned, locked vehicle.

Councilmembers Kathy Kennedy and Bobby Brazier cast the dissenting votes, opposing the requirement that all employees participate in direct deposit.

IN OTHER NEWS

The council also:

  • approved the purchase of 15 protective vests for the police department. The $13,199.25 total would be paid out of the municipal court building security fund since officers serve warrants on behalf of the court. The original request of 10 was increased to 15 “so it’s easier to track their expiration and because there was such a healthy balance in the court security fund ($52,517 before the purchases were approved).”
  • consented to the sale of the city’s current cable franchise, James Cable LLC doing business as Mediastream, to BCI Broadband LLC and transferred the franchise agreement to BCI James Cable LLC. If the purchase agreement doesn’t close, the adopted resolution becomes void.
  • proclaimed May National Historic Preservation month;
  • reviewed the April 18 through May 8 payment report in the amount of $271,416.08; and
  • approved the April 16 meeting minutes.

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