The bids were opened Tuesday afternoon at Cordova City Hall. A contractor is expected to be named within the next two weeks.
“We’re going to go through the vetting process of ruling out the guys who don’t qualify, select our top bidders and go from there,” disaster recovery coordinator Dean Harbison said during the City Council meeting Tuesday night.
Mayor Drew Gilbert added that Steve Ostaseski, the long-term recovery manager approved by the council in January, will be assisting with the selection of a contractor.
“He’s going to create a grade matrix based on what we asked for in the bid documents versus what we got from the people who bid on the project,” Gilbert said.
Harbison informed the council that 17 companies performed a site visit during the nearly month-long open bid process.
Some of those contractors passed on the project while others submitted bids without coming to Cordova.
“That will be something in that grading matrix. Did they actually come evaluate? Did they do their homework and their due diligience? Bidding blind is a very dangerous thing on this project,” Gilbert said.
Nine Alabama contractors submitted bids as well as two from Michigan and one based in Florida.
A total of 24 buildings are slated to be razed in the coming months. Properties along Main Street, two buildings on Commerce Street, a two-story house on Green Avenue and the old Piggly Wiggly are included in the project.
Contractors were required to bid on public and private structures separately after city officials learned of an error on paperwork submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
As a result, federal funds can only be used to tear down the 16 private structures on the list.
The city will be responsible for five percent of the cost of demolition of the private buildings as well as the total cost of tearing down the public structures.
When the bids for private and public buildings are combined, the estimates for demolition range from $447,000 to $997,795.
Harbison said city officials will be looking closely at those figures.
“We just need to verify that they do have the money needed to take care of the project. We don’t want them to short themselves or do everything they’re supposed to and we’re still holding the bag,” Harbison said.
The projected start date for demolition is April 1. The contractor is required to have the job completed in 60 days.
In other action Tuesday, the council:
• Discussed scheduling the wet/dry vote that is required after a petition to legalize alcohol sales received a sufficient number of signatures.
An exact date is expected to be approved at the council’s next meeting on March 26.
• Adopted a resolution declaring a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria and a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria to be surplus property. Gilbert said both vehicles have been out of commission for several years.
• Agreed to trade a 1992 Ford Super Duty for a 2002 Ford Expedition, which will be used by the fire department for medical response and travel for training or to get supplies.
Harbison said the Super Duty was declared as surplus by the previous council in July but has not yet sold. A local car lot owner recently offered the city a trade.
“We’re getting a newer vehicle and it’d be a lot cheaper for the city to operate for an even swap,” Harbison said.