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Town Council Rejects Over-Budget Bid for Silco Renovations


By Charlie McKee

During the Reports portion of Tuesday's short and to-the-point Town Council Meeting, which lasted a total of 17 minutes, Town Manager Alex Brown announced that the Town would be able to proceed with its July Fourth fireworks display. The event had been in danger of being cancelled due to the Town's tight budget and lack of funds. However, Scott Terry, Executive Director of the Grant County Chamber of Commerce, was able to raise the requisite $1,500 from businesses and individuals who were willing to support the annual Independence Day celebration.

Terry informed this reporter that the contributors to the 2014 July Fourth Fireworks included: Ace Hardware, Grant County Beat, Ralph and Nancy Gordon, Sheriff Villanueva, and WNM Communications.

Councilor Lynda Aiman-Smith was absent from the June 17 Council Meeting, and the following Business items did not include her vote.

In the Unfinished Business portion of the meeting, the Council approved the Request for Proposal #13/14-2P bid by D & H Pump Services of El Paso for the Municipal Refueling Station. The bid falls within the budget for the project.

In the New Business portion of the meeting, the Council approved the Agreement between the Town of Silver City and the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), Silver City Police Officers Association, from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2016. This agreement incorporates language that allows the Town to return to the negotiating table with the Association in the event the Town's revenue and the gross receipts tax (GRT) decrease by 2% or more over a three-consecutive-months period. Mayor Michael Morones commended Brown on his continuing track record of success in negotiating with the Police Officers' Association. Brown commented that this negotiation included a state FOP representative, who understands the impact of state funding actions on Silver City's municipal revenue stream; and that was a significant factor in the successful outcome of the negotiations.

The second item of New Business was the bid received by the Town for the interior renovations of the Silco Theater. The Town received only one bid for the renovations, which was significantly (more than 100%) over the budgeted amount. Brown informed the Council that it appeared that the contractors receiving the request for proposal for the renovations did not understand the architect's approach and the details of the work required. Town staff therefore recommended to the Council that the bid be rejected; that the architect review the design and make any appropriate changes to reduce the cost, as well as to provide more detailed specifications; and that the contractors be allowed more lead time for research to understand the requirements. Lucy Whitmarsh, President of the Board of the Silco Theater, stated to the Council that this is "the most workable solution we could have...for rebidding the project." Brown noted that some work on the theater could begin under the normal Town procurement process, while the rebidding effort is underway. The Council subsequently voted to reject Bid #13/14-8: Silco Theater Interior Renovations.

The meeting was then adjourned.


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