- Hard News Cafe - http://hardnewscafe.usu.edu -

Transportation plan’s ‘open contract’ costs more than Nibley budgeted

By Tmera Bradley

NIBLEY – A discrepancy in a bid for the transportation plan may end up costing the city at least $10,000 more than the original quote.

City Manager Larry Anhder reviewed the general fund and utility budgets for approval at City Council meeting Thursday. The list of items included a bill for the planning consultant of the transportation plan.

“State law says that when we adjust the budget we have to have a public hearing,” Anhder said.

Mayor Gerald Knight said the transportation plan entails reviewing and updating the transportation city-wide, and “looks at all the future roads in Nibley.” Knight said it also addresses annexation areas.

Cache Landmark gave a bid for the planning consultation that was around $20,000, Anhder said. However, the finished project’s total came to approximately $39,000.

Anhder said he negotiated with the company to bring the bill down to $30,000. “I don’t doubt that they had the costs,” he said.

“We asked for more than what was in the original proposal,” Knight said. “Quite a bit more.”

“I believe the product that we got is worth $30,000,” Councilman Larry Jacobsen said.

“This is a sticky one,” Anhder said.

The public hearing allowed residents to voice their opinions on the matter. Many people were upset that the plan ended up costing more than the original quote.

“Bids are bids,” said Nibley resident Scott Larsen. He said that once a bid is given, the job should be completed at that price. Larsen was disappointed that the city was expected to pay more than the original quote. “That’s not how things work in government.”

“It’s a tough situation,” Knight said. “It was an open-ended contract. The scope of things changed.”

Concern was expressed by residents that there were no contending bids for the job. However, Nibley city policy says a second bid is not required on projects quoted at $25,000 or less.

Councilman Thayne Mickelson said he wanted an in-depth review of the expenditures for the transportation plan before paying the given amount. “For us to go through that process will help us keep from having this happen again,” he said.

“It was a good plan and they did a very comprehensive effort,” Knight said. “We just didn’t budget for it.”

Nibley’s General Fund and Utility Budgets can be found here at http://www.nibleycity.com/PDF/budgetadj.pdf.

NW