City of Vicksburg to re-advertise animal shelter with revised specs

Published 4:03 pm Thursday, October 6, 2022

The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen is taking the city’s proposed new animal shelter plans back to the architects and engineers.

The board at a special called meeting Thursday rejected the bids for the project it received Monday and authorized City Clerk Walter Osborne to re-advertise the project for bids with new specifications.

Community Development Director Jeff Richardson said city officials are meeting with the project architect and engineer and other contractors about changes in the specifications to reduce the shelter’s cost and bring it in line with the project’s budget.

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“That process has already started,” he said. “We want to see where the high costs were, where there’s possibilities to save money; where we can cut and how we can get a good animal shelter with a little less money. We’re trying to build a good shelter but we don’t want to spend $2 million. We’re open to all ideas.”

J E Stevens Construction Group of Flowood was the low bidder on the project with a $1.795 million base bid, while Fordice Construction of Vicksburg had a $1.95 million base bid.

When the base bids were combined with the bids for the four proposed alternates or extra features, Stevens’ total bid was about $1.958 million, while the total Fordice bid came in at about $2.187 million.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said neither bid was within 10 percent of the project’s estimated cost, which contributed to the decision to reject them.

Under state law, if the lowest and best bid is not more than 10 percent above the amount of money allocated for a public construction project, the board can negotiate with the lowest bidder to enter into a contract for an amount not to exceed the available funds for the project.

That means the board could have negotiated with J E Stevens to reduce the cost of the project if Stevens’ bid was within 10 percent of the project’s budget.

Flaggs said the board could be ready to re-advertise the project sometime next week. The board’s next regular meeting is Monday. He said he would not discuss funding until the new bids are received.

Flaggs announced the special meeting at a public meeting Wednesday to discuss possible funding options for the shelter project.

During the Wednesday meeting, Flaggs repeated his promise to build the shelter, saying work would begin on the shelter in about 45 days, pointing out that it would take 30 days after the city advertised the project for bid before bids were received.

“I think we can get it done; trust me,” he told the people Wednesday.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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