City manager eyed to give OK on Ken Mitchell Lakes bids

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By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — The city is getting creative to bid out a number of miscellaneous projects related to Ken Mitchell Lakes.

After two unsuccessful attempts at bidding the projects out, Utilities Director Jim Landeck asked city council to waive the formal bidding process and to authorize City Manager Manuel Esquibel to approve purchases for up to $100,000 per vendor, with the total approval amount not to exceed $1.2 million.

During council’s Dec. 10 study session, Landeck explained there is not a simple way of bidding the 19 different projects out. The projects at Ken Mitchell Lakes coordinate with the construction of Metro Wastewater Reclamation District’s South Platte Interceptor pipeline and the gravel removal Ready Mix Concrete is completing. 

According to Landeck, the city needs contractors who have the equipment, materials and supplies necessary to complete the projects on the random schedule the project requires.

“We found out the contractor community was a little bit confused by that process,” he said. “They were unable to commit their equipment and some of their contract labor to our effort, not knowing exactly when the scheduled work was going to occur.”

If the formal bidding process was waived and Esquibel’s purchasing authority increased, Landeck said city officials would bid out the projects as they’re needed, when they’re needed by soliciting quotes via phone and in writing.

“It’s the only way we believe we can keep up with the schedule we were given by Metro as far as our completion of our work and our eligibility for reimbursement under the Metro fund we’ve created and work around the various operations at Metro, Ready Mix and fulfill the requirements of the IGA we’ve entered into,” he said. “I understand it’s a rather unique process but I believe it’s in the best interest of the city to pursue this and satisfy our agreement.”

Although they were supportive, councilmembers expressed their concerns with the resolution. Mayor Pro Tem Wayne Scott said because it’s so unusual and because it’s such a large amount, he said it would be helpful to have reports detailing the bidding process. Mayor Dick McLean also said he would be more comfortable with periodic reports.

Councilwoman Cynthia Martinez said she was uncomfortable with both the amount of $100,000 per vendor and the waiving of the formal bidding process. 

“I would never be for this because I’m just not comfortable with it. However, we supported the agreements and we supported what you were doing and we supported the project — I feel like this is something that we really don’t have a choice (in),” she said. “And I don’t like being put in this position, but I definitely think it’s something we have to move forward on because it’s something we committed to. It needs to get done.”

The resolution went before council during its Dec. 17 regular meeting, after press time.