Muskegon Heights Tries Breaking Up Bids to Create Savings

Andrew Trzaska | July 23, 2013

Muskegon Heights awarded numerous bids at its meeting Monday night to make improvements and repairs on City Hall and its Department of Public Works building.

Why so many bids were approved at one meeting. The city opted not to use a general contractor to subcontract all tasks in hopes of achieving greater savings.

Muskegon Heights Fire Chief Christopher Dean, who doubles as the head of the Inspections department, was involved in the bid process. He elaborated at Monday’s meeting on the purpose of breaking out the bids separately.

The city chose to use Muskegon Quality Builders for construction management, but decided to build out the improvements by trade classification. Dean said hiring a general contractor for all repairs would lead to a larger markup on each service, whereas individual bids may have smaller markup.

All contractors are in Muskegon County, ranging from within Muskegon Heights to Egelston Township.

The list of bids awarded Monday and their respective companies can be found below per city property.

At the City Hall complex:

  • $123,100 for roofing and flashing to East Muskegon Roofing of Muskegon Township
  • $63,610 for plaster, caulking and painting to Tom Alderink Plastering of Muskegon Township
  • $5,200 for masonry work to Andy Hofstra of Norton Shores

According to Dean, the council chambers in City Hall need masonry work, especially since that part of the building extends higher the rest of the complex.

The plaster, caulking and painting services concern the outside of the building, because the cement plaster on the police/fire end of the building is deteriorating quickly. The bid includes plastering the whole building exterior and painting the surface to match around the whole of the building.

At the Department of Public Works building:

  • $127,900 for roofing and flashing to East Muskegon Roofing of Muskegon Township
  • $8,889 for plumbing work to Pipestone Plumbing of Fruitport
  • $20,000 for wood roof repairs to Muskegon Quality Builders of Muskegon Heights

Dean explained the separation of some of the roof repairs from others in the bid awards at Monday’s meeting. East Muskegon Roofing came in as the best bid according to city staff for roofing and flashing. However, during the bid process, East Muskegon Roofing said they did not have a strong interest in repairing the wood portion of the roof.

“In speaking with East Muskegon Roofing, they had no desire to do it, while Muskegon Quality did,” said Dean.

Muskegon Quality Builders did not initially bid on the job because it would have been a conflict of interest, but after East Muskegon Roofing expressed their feelings on that portion of the work, Muskegon Quality Builders proposed a dollar amount that would save the city significant dollars versus other bids.  East Muskegon Roofing said they were okay with awarding the bid to MQB, and council approved that bid.

Plumbing work for the DPW building concerns the water runoff from the roof, and would direct the water to the sewers.

Andrew Trzaska

103.7 “The Beat” – local government beat reporter and political analyst