Council members review bids with City Attorney Dan Willingham
HANCEVILLE – The Hanceville City Council met Thursday evening, opening bids for materials and labor to resurface three city thoroughfares: Helen Warren Vogel Street, Whaley Avenue and McNutt Drive. Two separate bids were taken: the first for 950 tons of asphalt, and the second for the resurfacing work (including transportation of the asphalt). The total budget for the project was not to exceed $100,000.
M & S Construction and C. A. Langford, both of Guntersville, submitted bids for asphalt:
M & S …………… $61 per ton, for a total of $57,950
C.A. Langford …………… $56 per ton, for a total of $52,200
The contract was awarded to C.A. Langford.
The bids for transportation and labor were far more complicated. Three bids were received:
Richard Cooper Construction (Hanceville) ………. $31,350
Johns Paving (Hanceville) ……………………….. $29,525
Sackey Joles Paving (Cullman) ………………….. $26,310
Sackey Joles was the lowest bidder, but the bid came with certain conditions that raised concerns among council members. Its contract required a deposit that was not included in the proposal. Additionally, and more problematically for the council, Sackey Joles refused to be held responsible for water drainage, pavement cracks or raveling (crumbling of the asphalt sometimes called “alligator cracking”).
Said City Attorney Dan Willingham, “Isn’t that exactly what you’d want them to be responsible for? If he’s not responsible for cracks in the pavement, then what is he responsible for?”
The council was clearly uneasy with the conditions of the Sackey Joles bid, but also uneasy about rejecting a low bid. Willingham explained that, under the law, the bid process does not have to award the bid to the “lowest bidder,” but to the “lowest responsible bidder.” Agreeing that the conditions of the Sackey Joles bid called the company’s responsibility into question, and that the demand for a deposit fell outside the parameters of the original proposal, the council voted unanimously to reject that bid and award the contract to Johns Paving.
Resurfacing of the streets is expected to begin as soon as Johns Paving can arrange transportation of the asphalt.
In other business, the council also unanimously approved the following motions:
- To hold a citywide yard sale on Saturday, April 15, and to suspend the requirement for yard sale permits for that day.
- To amend the budget to allow a $15,000 payment to be made on the City’s new backhoe, from the proceeds of the sales of the old backhoe and a surplussed city truck.
- A resolution to oppose state legislation (SB 31 and HB 58) that would exempt pharmaceutical items from local sales tax. Mayor Kenneth Nail and the council contended that such an exemption would cause small municipalities like Hanceville to lose too much tax income.
- To reappoint Betty Dover to a three-year term on the City Zoning Board of Adjustments.
Police Chief Bob Long reported a recent investigation that resulted in the seizure of drugs and a firearm from a home in Cullman. According to Long, children were removed from that home by the Cullman County Department of Human Resources. In another incident, Hanceville Police recovered a stolen boat motor from the trunk of a car during a routine traffic stop.
The council meeting concluded with a listing of upcoming community events:
Career Day at Hanceville Elementary School …….. March 24, from 8:30-2:30
Swamp Johns dinner at the Moody Center ………. April 6, from 4-7 p.m.
PALS Clean-Up, starting at City Hall ……………. April 22 at 8 a.m.
Senior Fish-O-Rama ………………………………. April 28 at 7 a.m.
Kids Fish-O-Rama ……………………………….. April 29 at 7 a.m.
The Hanceville City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, with a work session at 6, at Hanceville City Hall. The public is invited to attend.
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