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County awards roadway contract to HIP Paving

By Staff | Sep 30, 2009

An appeal graced the agenda of the Lee County Board of County Commissioners meeting Tuesday regarding a countywide roadway, resurface improvement contract between biders.
The reason for the appeal to be put on the agenda was to discuss whether Hot In Place, or HIP, Paving’s rejuvenation process meets the requirements in the bid documents.
The repaving contracts originally banned rejuvenation projects from all three of the paving categories, according to the assistant county attorney.
In 2008, adjustments and notes were made to the documents with the intent to allow the rejuvenation companies to bid on the county’s contracts, which commissioners stated were not clearly addressed within the documents.
Commissioner Tammy Hall said there are a lot of gray areas throughout the document, which does not get across the intent of the project.
“We have to somehow clear that up because we can’t have page one say this and as soon as you go through it, it insinuates something else,” she said.
“It’s frustrating for me to sit here and have to be in the middle of a bid protest when it’s so easy to put through the document of what your intent is,” Hall added.
Commissioner Ray Judah agreed.
“I could not understand why we would prohibit rejuvenation resurfacing projects ever if the bidder met specifications we should have been doing years ago,” he said.
The bid process was between AJAX Paving and HIP Paving, with HIP Paving making a low bid not to exceed $900,000 for the project.
Lee County estimated that the project would cost $1,356,960.
Mark Minich, vice president of AJAX Paving, stated that his company, which has been serving Lee County for the past 25 years, believes that HIP Paving is unresponsive to bid requirements due to the “project manual for the job clearly stating that bids must be responsive to request of bids.”
“The contract clearly calls for the major item of work is to be the delivery of 13,712 tons of S3 asphalt to the county,” he said, adding it is based on a unit price.
Minich said HIP Paving admitted that it does not intend to meet the basic requirement of delivering 13,712 tons to the county.
Frank Crupi, president of HIP Paving, said the contract in question “does not specify an S3 plant mix because it was intended to allow us to bid this as an alternative bid with a recycling process.”
“It is not very often that you get a totally green process that saves money,” he said.
Crupi said HIP Paving came in just below the bid, which is a significant savings.
“13,700 tons of asphalt is already on the roads and has been delivered to you once already, and it will be recycled 100 percent to make a Florida DOT spec,” he said.
Judah said HIP Paving has legally met the bid specifications.
“I see no reason to overturn the decision to give the reward contract to HIP,” he said.
The vote was 3-1, with Commissioner Brian Bigelow dissenting on awarding the contract to HIP Paving. Commissioner Frank Mann was not present.
HIP Paving will rejuvenate various streets within Lee County, which will be completed in 180 days with their recycling methods.