Weather Forecast


City council awards another storm cleanup bid

WORTHINGTON -- The Worthington City Council awarded a debris monitor bid to True North Emergency Management during an emergency meeting Tuesday night.

The cost estimate depended on the amount of work that needs to be completed. If the work takes six weeks, the projection is the bid will be for $249,000. If it takes a week less, the total will be $208,000; the total will be $167,000 if completion is within four weeks.

According to City Administrator Craig Clark, the debris monitor will help in assisting the city with meeting the requirements for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

"After we met with FEMA and understanding more of the program and reimbursable expense, it became apparent that we need to look at doing more of an outside monitoring service," Clark said.

Mayor Alan Oberloh warned the FEMA payment may take a while to be delivered.

"The thing I want council to be aware of -- the thing that alarmed me a great deal -- is there are towns that had disasters in Minnesota in 2004 that are still yet to be paid," Oberloh said. "We will be out on a limb for this bill for quite some time."

Council member Mike Kuhle said the city didn't have much choice.

"Getting back to what you mentioned about the FEMA reimbursement and the time lapse, we really don't have any options, do we?" Kuhle said. "Other than to go ahead with this."

"Somehow or another, the city staff is going to have to figure out how to pay the bills," Oberloh said.

Council member Rod Sankey objected to the cost.

"I think we have to stop the spending somewhere," Sankey said. "I'm sure we could find someone in our community that could handle this job. You have to cut the spending somewhere. Holy cow, there's $200,000 here for four weeks and $600,000 for Ceres. We're at a million dollars out of the checkbook."

The city prepared a request for proposal (RFP) and sent it out. Of six potential prospects, three submitted proposals --Arcadius, Metric Engineering and True North.

Within the RFP, there were guidelines for evaluating the companies. There were ranked on a scale in five categories: Reference; qualification of staff; responsiveness to the proposal; fee schedule; and date to be on site and starting training and certifications. Each category had a 20-point maximum, meaning each company could earn up to 100 points. True North earned the highest point total with 96.

"After going through and assigning values, True North was the low bidder and all together, they had the best point value," Director of Public Works Jim Eulberg said. "The recommendation is to award the monitoring contract to True North."

Derrick Tucker, project manager from True North -- which is based in Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas -- addressed the council to explain some of the charges and positions needed within the estimate.

"If FEMA doesn't come through, we probably could have done this job for a whole lot less," Kuhle said. "But we're doing it according to FEMA."

Tucker explained his company will do all the records of the project in working with Ceres Environmental, which won the cleanup bid. But the timing depends on the amount of work.

"The more their ground crew hauls, the faster we get done, the less hours we have," Tucker said. "It has to do with the nature of your debris and the density and how many passes you want to do."

Oberloh said he wants to see work done quickly.

"We want this thing done in 30 days," he said.

Tucker and a representative from Ceres said they both thought that would be a fair timeline.

There will be some time for training as well as getting the right people in place. However, the hope is crews will be back to work by Friday.

If the timeline is met with four weeks and the estimates that were provided to the clean-up and site management contractors are correct, the three bids from Ceres, True North and the Nobles County Landfill total $1,120,375. That amount will fluctuate depending on the actual amount of debris and hours worked by each company.

Daily Globe Community Content Coordinator Aaron Hagen may be reached at 376-7323.