$14 million contract awarded for power line work

Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2003

KETCHIKAN (AP) A contract for about $14 million has been awarded by the city to Columbia Helicopters, Inc., despite a late, unsolicited bid from another company for about $2.3 million less.

The work will involve clearing and logging to make room for construction of the Swan Lake/Lake Tyee Intertie, as well as geotechnical work.

Columbia was the sole original bidder for the project, and its bid was significantly higher than the city's estimate.

The council voted April 4 to reject the bid and give city employees authority to negotiate a better deal with Columbia or another company.

The Ketchikan City Council was told April 17 that the city estimate was based partly on incorrect information, and should have been higher.

But the council also heard that after Columbia's bid had been opened and made public, the city received a joint proposal from Graham Group U.S. and Constructionaire Corp. for about $2.3 million less than Columbia's bid.

City employees recommended that the council delay action on the contract while they reviewed the late bid. But citing fair play and adherence to procedure, the council unanimously awarded the bid to Columbia.

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