Lincoln County Commissioners today put off for a week a final decision on which construction company will do a very large remodel of a building out Bay Road near Vista for the new home of the Cooperative Extension offices in Newport.
The project has been a long time in the “cooker” so to speak due to it being such a complex project that accommodates such varied extension activities in one building. So, naturally, Public Works Director Jim Buisman was anxious to have the commissioners finally award the bid for much of the project this week. But it didn’t happen. Maybe next week.
Buisman said somewhat tongue in cheek that the extension building project has dragged on for so long he’s wondering if he might end up retiring before it actually gets built.
But the commissioners, trying to keep money at home in Lincoln County, wondered why Buisman was leaning toward an out of town general contractor to get the bid rather that the other two contractors, both of which were highly rated AND home-based on the coast.
County Counsel Wayne Belmont reminded the commissioners that they cannot, by law, award a bid simply because they want a hometown contractor to get it. But Commissioner Bill Hall was quick to point out that one of the unsuccessful bidders did a great job on the Nye Building renovation right across Nye Street from the county jail. He observed that many contractors from the valley don’t understand, and therefore don’t build structures that can strictly withstand the very harsh coastal winters – especially for wind and rain.
Buisman was quick to point out the Eugene firm that he was recommending has also done extensive work along the coast. Same for the third firm. And he implied that the variable probably wouldn’t hold up under appeal.
In the end, the commissioners asked Buisman to put the bid under close scrutiny to evaluate the full range of building experience all three firms have had here on the coast. Buisman said he would create such a report and then report back to the commission at their meeting next Wednesday.