Local News

Hospital demo contract faces two appeals

The derelict hospital building on Bawden Street is back on the Ketchikan City Council’s agenda tonight. Two companies have filed appeals to the Council’s Nov. 1st decision to hire local contractor BAM Construction to demolish the asbestos-laden building.

City managers had recommended another contractor, which had scored higher by a screening committee, but the Council opted to hire BAM, the lowest bidder. The issue had to come back to the Council to give time for a second notice to all the bidders.

The first appeal from Construction Group International of Washington argues that its bid was rejected unfairly. Company president Mark Marcell states that the bid had been sent electronically by deadline and with all the required documents. Some of the documents did not upload successfully, however, and he says the company received no notice of that failure.

City Manager Karl Amylon recommends rejecting that appeal.

The second appeal is more complex. Central Environmental Incorporated of Anchorage states that BAM was involved in 2006 demolition work at the Best Western Landing hotel. That project resulted in a federal Environmental Protection Agency fine for improper removal and disposal of asbestos.

The primary contractor on that job was Bicknell, Inc., according to the city. The screening committee knew about the issue, and considered it when scoring bidders.

In its appeal, CEI says that BAM failed to disclose the EPA violation, and should be deemed a nonresponsive bidder.

Amylon did not provide a recommendation regarding the second appeal. Three motions are available for the Council to consider. The first would deny the appeal and award the contract to BAM. The second would approve the appeal and award the contract to CEI. The third would throw out all bids and start over again.

Amylon says the third motion is not ideal, because the building continues to deteriorate and needs to be taken down.

Also tonight, the Council will consider approving the newest version of the prioritized community project funding list to be submitted to the Legislature. The new list has the Ketchikan Medical Center renovation on top, followed by city bridge replacements, the Mahoney Lake Hydroelectric Project, the Performing Arts Center, borough road repairs, the Saxman Community Center parking lot and the Ketchikan shipyard.

The Council meets at 7 p.m. tonight in City Council chambers. Public comment will be heard at the start of the meeting.

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