The draft minutes from Friday’s meeting between Selectmen Carolyn Sundquist and Lloyd Wood and representatives of Integrity Earthworks has been posted on the town’s web site by Administrative Secretary Karen Koch:
Chairman Sundquist and Selectman Wood met with Steve Pacsay, owner of Integrity Earthworks and their estimator, Doug Phillips. (Selectman Marcussen was unable to attend this portion of the meeting.) Mr. Pacsay asked to meet with the Selectmen to express his concerns of their recent decision on the award of the Lang Pond Road project and to get a further understanding for the basis of Integrity Earthworks’ bid being rejected. He read aloud his email that he sent to the Selectmen. The verbiage in the bid requirements did not require a bid/performance bond for the project, which his company is willing to provide if required. He understands that when his company asked if they could add the cost of the bond to their bid they were denied based on the question of whether it was legal or not to do so. He expanded upon his previous management/supervisory experience in the heavy construction industry with degrees of difficulty, deadlines, and dollar values far in excess of the Lang Pond Road project. He views this project as a critical stepping stone in the growth and presence of his company and stated that this was considered part of the strategy when placing a value on this project. He expressed his confusion on the outcome of the decision made and is contemplating to what degree his company wants to pursue this matter. He asked that the Town research the legality of the decision that was made prior to final contract award. Integrity Earthworks feels strongly that the fair thing to do would be to reject all bids, revise the bid requirements and restart the bid process.
Chairman Sundquist expressed her agreement with Mr. Pacsay and explained that this is why she voted against awarding the bid to LA Drew. She proceeded to read aloud Selectman Marcussen’s statement. His primary reason for not supporting award of the contract to the lowest bidder is that he doesn’t believe that the low bid is “responsible.” Doug Phillips responded by stating that no pre-qualifications were asked for as part of the process therefore all bidders had to assume that they were qualified. Mr. Phillips went on to explain that 25% of their business is in much larger commercial projects and their bid form references such. They feel that they are very qualified for this project. Mr. Phillips commented that Selectman Wood stated that the RSA was clear on the requirements of a performance bond over $35,000 but didn’t know of a solution without redoing the paperwork. Mr. Phillips feels that the process should be redone and a pre-qualification process done for each bidder. Mr. Pacsay explained that he is aware of the perceived capacity of his business within the community, so when he knew that his company had the low bid he reached out to Jack Parsons twice (as well as Norway Plains) and asked to meet with him and the Selectmen, if necessary, and it was denied both times, stating that there was no need to do so. Mr. Pacsay expanded on his past experiences of large responsibility pertinent to this type of project.
Selectman Wood thanked them for stepping forward and complimented Mr. Phillips in terms of acting as their agent. He feels it is important to stay fair and open. He spoke of RSA 447:16 and the notes of the decisions that were made in terms of this RSA, particularly #4 Bond-Generally, given that a general contractor was required to obtain a bond under RSA 447:16, which bond stated that if there are conflicts between the terms of the understanding and the statute, the statute should be resolved in favor of the statute and #7 Bond Provisions, this section did not require the terms of the bond required to be read into a contract with the Town. His reiterated his duty is to follow the letter and spirit of the law. He said that the Town cannot, after putting one set of specifications out to bid, decide to accept a bid and then calculate it differently. Although he confirmed that they can be rejected legally. He also read aloud the minutes of the July 26, 2016 meeting where Mr. Phillips noted that they feel that their interpretation of the bid form should not slow the process of the project and they are happy to accept the Board’s decision without recourse or any question. Mr. Pacsay acknowledged this.
Chairman Sundquist read the motion that was made by Selectman Marcussen at the July 26th meeting bringing attention to the point that the motion made was not a result of the bond not being included.
Selectman Wood moved that the Selectmen reconsider their actions taken in terms of awarding the Lang Pond Road project, seconded by Chairman Sundquist. Vote passed 2-0. The Selectmen will reconsider their decision at their Monday morning meeting.
Mr. Pacsay stated that he is not asking that his company gets the job. He is just asking that the Town redoes the bid process and makes the bid process clear.