2017-09-13 / News

Contractor complains about bid award

810-452-2689 • elevine@mihomepaper.com

The owner of a heating and cooling business has complained about the county awarding a project to the third highest bidder.

Kyle Mausolf, owner of Thumb Cooling & Heating of Cass City, took county commissioners to task at last week’s county board meeting, over their decision to hire Rapson Refrigeration to replace the rooftop heating and air conditioning system on the courthouse annex.

The Bad Axe company’s bid was $178,590, the third highest of the four bids received by the county.

Thumb Heating submitted the low bid of $151,438,000, while Johnson Control was next at $165,710 followed by Johnson & Wood with the high bid of $238,800.

At the same meeting where Mausolf spoke, commissioners approved an amendment to the project cost, an additional $3,000 for CO2 detectors that pushed the total cost to $181,590.

“I’m disappointed how this was handed out,” said Mausolf about last month’s decision to hire Rapson.

He said the board chose “not the lowest, not the second lowest, but the third.”

Mausolf, who lives in Marlette, said, “as a taxpayer,” he wanted the board to rescind the motion and either ask for new bids or award it to the lowest or second lowest bidder.

However, board Chairman John Hoffmann said the board had considered the bids before making its decision and “I do not anticipate anything to change.”

In awarding the bid last month, commissioners followed the recommendation of the building committee.

In its written recommendation to the board, the committee emphasized a $5,400 per year savings from the heating and air conditioning unit that Rapson would install. The savings is based on efficiencies of the unit and reduced maintenance.

The committee also pointed out that Rapson’s unit has a 25-year warranty compared to 15 years on units from the lower bidders.

In other business last week, commissioners accepted the proposed fee schedule for the new airport zoning ordinance. The schedule calls for a $50 fee for airport zoning permit applications, $450 fee for agriculture and residential zoning application for appeal, $650 fee for commercial zoning application for appeal, $30 per diem for zoning board of appeals members, and IRS rate for mileage for board of appeals members.

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