Greencastle officials puzzled by bids for Madison Street

PAT FRIDGEN

At a special meeting Monday night, Greencastle Borough Council approved an intent to award for the lowest bid for the Madison Street drainage improvement project. However, council members were surprised by the huge difference between the lowest bid, $223,484 by Fayetteville Contractors, Inc., and the highest bid, $604,000 by Justice Excavating, Inc., Aspers.

Seven companies picked up the plans and six submitted bids. Keith Moore, director of engineering for Frederick, Seibert and Associates, explained to Charles Eckstine, Paul Schemel, Craig Myers, Harry Foley and Duane Kinzer, that the bids were lump sum for the project. He didn't understand the reason for the span, but suggested each company took into account how much rock it thought it would encounter.

"The low bids were within the scope of what we expected them to be," Moore said. The engineering firm had anticipated an expense of $235,000.

Some council members were concerned that if a bid was too low, the winner could renege once it started work. Eckstine said that in order to reject the lowest bid, they had to have a justifiable reason.

The council unanimously agreed to move forward, subject to the contractor producing insurance and bond documents, and after engineering and legal review of the papers.

Crosswalks

Kinzer reported on the meeting he had had earlier in the day with Tim Jones from Laurel Asphalt in Windber. Borough manager Kenneth Womack and Schemel had also attended. They discussed Jones' product, decorative asphalt for crosswalks.

Kinzer wanted the specialty paving to add aesthetics to Center Square and other intersections accomodating pedestrians. He was disappointed that some markings made by PennDOT had all but disappeared because of wear by traffic. Schemel and Foley were more impressed that the paving would increase visibility of the crosswalks, thereby making them safer.

Jones planned to present a quote soon, and offered to provide leads for grants to fund the project if approved by council.

Womack stated that PennDOT would repaint the crosswalks in warmer weather.