Jury OKs bids on 2 major projects
By: Paul Kedinger
By PAUL KEDINGER
In a brief special meeting Tuesday night prior to several committee sessions, Acadia Parish police jurors accepted low bids on a new parish health unit and the conversion of old parish jail into an administrative building for the Police Jury.
Jurors were pleased to learn from engineer Karl Aucoin the lowest bid for the jail conversion was “well within the budget.”
Jurors acted on Aucoin’s recommendation to award the contract to Trahan Construction, Inc. of Lake Arthur which submitted the low bid of $490,400.
Aucoin commented the bid award was approximately $85,000 below the projected budget of $575,000.
The conversion of the old jail on the courthouse square will be paid for with funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Terrell Crochet of Architects’ Design Studio of New Iberia recommended the low bid for the new health unit to be built on Capitol Drive.
The firm of Daren Snider Construction of Lake Charles was awarded the contract on a bid of $1,738,000.
Crochet told jurors he projected a change order that might reduce that bid by $15,000 to $20,000 because of a change in the required floodplain elevation.
The architect said the elevation was originally calculated at 19 feet, but new regulations can lower that to 18 feet.
Crochet projected ground work on the new health unit may begin as early as May.
During the Building and Grounds Committee meeting, architect Ron Lawson contended that another bidder for a third party provider to conduct plan reviews and inspections under the Louisiana State Building Code failed to meet the conditions outlined in the Requests for Proposals (RFP).
Specifically, Lawson noted the proposal stated bidders must have an office in Acadia Parish.
Lawson, who has provided the service for the past four years, in a letter he presented to jurors argued the business of the second bidder Rodney Richard, Building Code Inspection Service, was located in Carencro.
Noting the successful bidder for the parish’s garbage collection contract opened a parish office after winning the contract, Jury President A.J. “Jay” Credeur remarked such a requirement could be met after awarding the contract.
Lawson also contended when bids were opened at the Jury’s March 9 meeting, Richard submitted three bids instead of one, “which is totally improper, and therefore should have been thrown out and not considered.”
At the March meeting, jurors deferred action on both bids and directed Lee Hebert, the parish’s building official, to solicit bids that “compared apples to apples.”
At that point, Juror John Quebodeaux suggested Hebert get “matching bids.”
However, Juror Alton Stevenson objected and moved to recommend Lawson continue to provide the service for the next three years.
Juror Quebodeaux agreed and Lawson’s continued service will be recommended to the full Jury when it meets on Wednesday, April 13.
The committee also recommended Parish Road Manager Michael “Pee Wee” Schexnider obtain property appraisals for land adjacent to the Crowley Parish Maintenance Barn on Roller Road.
The property owners indicated the smallest parcel of land they would be interested in selling was slightly over eight acres, though they would consider offers on additional acreage.
The idea of expanding the property around the Crowley barn was made by Schexnider who cited a need for a new office and meeting area to replace the current building.