BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors approved an exemption to the low-bid contracting process, Wednesday, in an effort to finish construction on the Water Reclamation Facility (WRF). The original contract was awarded to the lowest bidder in 2013. But officials say Apollo Inc's work was fraught with “delays and defective and deficient work." The expansion of the sewage treatment facility isn't done and that contract is currently in litigation.
Jeff England, the city’s Assistant Director of Engineering, told Councilors that bypassing the low-bid process would allow the city to bring on contractor MA Mortenson. "Requesting a one-time exemption to allow direct appoint to complete the work that was removed by the prior contract. It’s important to note that the request is one-time, and it’s only applicable to this project and this request. This will allow direct negotiation with MA Mortensen, who has specialized knowledge of the existing condition, out there." He says the contractor worked on the project early on and requesting proposals from other companies not already familiar wit the work could cost the city several hundred thousand dollars and time. "By doing the direct appointment and a direct negotiation with Mortenson, we can save about 5 months of time for completion on the project, which is becoming more and more critical all the time with the growth that we are seeing in the community, now."
The facility is operational, but is not yet able to meet the city’s needs.