Today is Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Council slows contract approval process

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City Attorney Andy Wright said the charter says that council must approve the contracts, but noted the wording of the agreement in question allows for Mayor Philip Craighead to enter contracts with Atkins related to the airport.


I just want to go by the charter and this is like the tail wagging the dog, Barry said.


Commissioner of Public Works Jeff Baines said the city has always conducted business in this way, regarding water and sewer projects and master services agreements such as the one with Atkins.


Baines said the five-year agreement, if approved by the council, in effect, approves the budgeting for all projects contained within a scope of work with Atkins. He said there are numerous projects listed in the agreement to be done.


The projects in the agreement include general consulting, engineering, architectural designs, surveying, construction, grant administration, environmental analysis, noise studies, as well as runway, hangar and terminal construction among many others.


This keeps you from having to go through the selection process for every project, said City Engineer Chuck Boyett.


Baines and Boyett noted the city enters into these types of agreements to avoid costs of advertising and bidding every individual project. Baines said the city advertised and accepted bids for the master scope of work, and Atkins had the best proposal.


Wright pointed out the agreement does not violate the charter or it would not be on the agenda. Baines said council has approved many agreements like this in the past, and said this agreement has particular time constraints involving grant funds.


Baines said the state will pay for the majority of re-striping the runway, but some of the projects listed in the agreement must be done first. Baines said the money for the projects in the agreement are in the current budget.


Barry recommended holding a work session to review the contract and said he didnt feel comfortable voting in favor of the agreement, as it appeared Tuesday night. Warmath suggested changing language in the contract to require council approval for all projects individually and said they could hold special called meetings to approve those projects.


Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.


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