Special Meeting

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June 4, 2003

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CALL TO ORDER   June 4, 2003

The special meeting of the Board of Trustees of School District No. 26, Lockwood Schools, Yellowstone County, was duly held at the Lockwood Schools Board Room, 1932 U.S. Highway 87, Billings, MT 59101, on Wednesday, June 4, 2003.

Trustees present were Becky Webber, Greg Bochy, Tim Trafford, and Teresa Stroebe. Superintendent Eileen Johnson and District Clerk Diane Brook were also in attendance. Robert Guenther arrived at 12:50 p.m. Jim Painter and Gayle Walker were absent.

Registered guests were: Merlyn Miller of CTA Architects Engineers, Dallas Cranford of IIC, Inc, Asbestos/Re-insulation, and Kevin Oliver of Northern Industrial Hygiene.

Chairman Tim Trafford called the meeting to order at 12:05 p.m. and led those present in the pledge of allegiance.

Mr. Trafford read a statement regarding participation and asked if anyone had public comment. No one spoke.

A. Discussion and evaluation of bids submitted on May 15, 2003, for the Asbestos Abatement Project and the Pipe Re-Insulation Project. Representatives from CTA Architects Engineers were present to explain some concerns with the lowest bid on the Asbestos Abatement Project.

Merlyn Miller advised of these issues:

  1. CTA Architects Engineers had packaged the bid documents for both projects. They used Northern Industrial Hygiene as a consultant for this process. They had prepared the pre-bid documents and conducted the walk-through.
  2. Northern Industrial Hygiene advised that the low bidder, Interstate Insulation Contractors, had received asbestos violations letters from the Montana Department on Environmental Quality, and they recommended against awarding the contract to them.
  3. After NIH made this recommendation, Dallas of IIC met with Merlyn and provided him with a list of references. Merlyn communicated with his references and did not receive favorable responses regarding work done by IIC.

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  1. Asbestos abatement is held to a higher standard by the law and it is necessary for contractors to pay attention to those standards.
Merlyn said due to these issues, CTA recommends the school district award the bid to the second lowest bidder (Safetech, Inc).

Dallas Cranford of IIC provided the Board of Trustees with his response letters to the asbestos violations letters and information from the U.S. Department of Labor OSHA website regarding Safetech, Inc.

He told trustees about the length of time he had been in business and he said he believed the violations would be dismissed. He commented on the amount of time and effort he had spent to bid the project. He also reported his concern about a change order that would be necessary due to breechings. Mr. Cranford said he informed NIH about the breechings; NIH said that issue could be handled with a change order; Dallas thought it should have been a bid addendum item.

Mr. Cranford stated the opinion that the letters received by Safetech, Inc. (next low bidder) were worse than the violations IIC had received.

Trustee Bochy asked Mr. Cranford if crawling the tunnels is part of the bid process and containment is part of the job. Mr. Cranston said, “Yes.”

Kevin Oliver of Northern Industrial Hygiene spoke about the possible change order. He said Dallas had brought the breaching to their attention. Mr. Oliver thought it would be a change order of $2,000, and that was the best way to handle it in light of the time lines of the project.

Merlyn said Mr. Cranford had verbally mentioned a figure of $25,000 for the change order.

Supt. Johnson advised that she had contacted Attorney Larry Martin regarding the bid award. He assured her that the Board of Trustees was well within their legal right to not accept the low bid.

Teresa Stroebe said there seems to be extenuating circumstances for Mr. Cranford, and things he needs to take care of, however we have a time line. We need to move on and do what is best for the kids in our school.

Trustee Bochy expressed concern about a change order and the cost of a change order. He said if a change order costs $10,000-$15,000, it would be a very big issue for him.

Supt. Johnson advised that many of the projects that had been completed in the past had experienced change orders. It is quite common in the remodeling process, as you never know every situation or contingency that may happen. In the past, she has reviewed all change orders and approved them or renegotiated them as necessary.

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Becky Webber asked if all bidders violations are checked on.

Eileen advised that it is the responsibility of the consultants hired to advise to handle checking violations and references.

Chairman Trafford said he had read all the information that had been provided regarding this issue and some of it was extremely difficult for the layman to understand. He remarked that is why we hire consultants; they are the experts and we shouldn’t second-guess them. He also noted that there is a very narrow window in which to complete this asbestos abatement project.
B. ACTION: Asbestos Abatement Project - Awarding Bid or Rejecting Any and All Bids
Teresa Stroebe moved to reject the lowest bid. Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Greg Bochy, Teresa Stroebe, Becky Webber, and Tim Trafford voted aye. The motion passed four to zero.

Greg Bochy moved to postpone accepting any bids until the regular board meeting next Tuesday, June 10, 2003. Chairman Trafford asked if there was a second. The motion failed due to lack of a second.

Chairman Trafford asked if there was any further action.

Becky Webber moved to award the Asbestos Abatement bid to the next lowest bidder (Safetech, Inc.). Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, and Becky Webber voted aye; Greg Bochy voted no; the motion passed three to one.

Tim Trafford asked Merlyn if there are any upper limits specified for change orders in the project specifications.

Mr. Oliver of NIH responded that there were established upper and lower limits of what they estimate the scope of the project to be. The specifications state that variance, such as for measurements, could be ten percent in either direction. He advised this is a separate issue from the breaching issue. He said he felt the breaching issue was easily definable.

Tim Trafford reiterated that the consultants had said they felt comfortable with a figure of $2,000 to $5,000 for the breaching change order.

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C. ACTION: Pipe Re-Insulation Project - Awarding Bid or Rejecting Any and All Bids

Chairman Trafford said he would entertain a motion regarding the Pipe Re-Insulation bid. Becky Webber said she would move to award the bid to the only bidder, IIC, for the purpose of opening the discussion. Greg Bochy seconded the motion.

Robert Guenther arrived at the meeting at 12:50 p.m.

Chairman Trafford reviewed the meeting proceedings thus far.

Greg Bochy said the bid should be awarded to the only bidder in order to get the project done.

Chairman Trafford asked Merlyn Miller if he thought more bids would be received next time if this project were re-bid.

Merlyn responded yes, for two reasons: Re-bidding the pipe re-insulation portion of the project without tying it to the asbestos abatement could give contractors additional time for completion. He also stated that the project could be modified, which could make the bids less.

Supt. Johnson asked it the re-insulation project could be completed later. Merlyn responded that the contractors could work in the tunnels after school is in session, up to the time that the heating system is turned on.

Robert Guenther asked how long the asbestos abatement project would take. Mr. Oliver replied that the project should be completed in 30 working days. The end date stated in the project specifications is August 8, 2003.

It was noted that as areas are cleared of asbestos, the re-insulation could begin. Basically they can follow the asbestos abatement project.

Robert asked what the timeline for re-bidding the project would look like.

Merlyn responded that they would refine the specifications, re-advertise, the bid would be awarded, and the successful contractor would be in a “holding pattern” until the asbestos abatement is completed in one area.

Merlyn said he likes to allow the contractor to give his timeline when the project bid is submitted. He then incorporates liquidated damages in the agreement if the timeline is not met. When the contract is awarded the contractor will specify an end date.

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Tim Trafford advised that Becky had made the motion for discussion purposes. He stated he would like to reject the only bid submitted and re-open the project for bids.

Robert asked about the legality of doing this. Tim advised that Eileen had discussed these issues with Attorney Larry Martin.

Chairman Trafford called for a vote on the motion. Greg Bochy voted aye; Tim Trafford, Becky Webber, and Teresa Stroebe voted no; the motion failed by a vote of one for and three against.

D. POSSIBLE ACTION: Re-issuing bid request(s) if bids for either one or both projects are rejected.
Becky Webber moved to re-issue bids for the Pipe Re-Insulation Project. Robert Guenther seconded the motion. Robert asked if this could be done quickly. Merlyn said the re-bidding process should be completed by the end of June. Robert Guenther said as a representative of the taxpayers, he feels this is the best course of action.

Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Becky Webber and Greg Bochy voted affirmatively; the motion passed four to zero.
E. Adjourn
Teresa moved to adjourn the meeting at 1:07 p.m. Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Becky Webber and Greg Bochy voted aye; the motion passed.



__________________________________           ________________________________

         Timothy Trafford, Chairman                     Diane M. Brook, District Clerk

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