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Geneva’s 3rd parking deck on hold; aldermen say bids too high

GENEVA – The city’s project to build a third tier parking deck at the Metra commuter parking facility is on hold, as Geneva aldermen rejected three bids this week for being too high.

The bids were opened in January. The first two tiers of the parking deck have a combined 365 parking spaces. The third level would add 160 parking spaces for commuters, records show. 

The city and Metra signed an intergovernmental agreement on the project in 2006, which was amended in October to allow State of Illinois Capital Bonds to pay for it.

Public Works Director Dan Dinges said the plan is to rebid the project this summer for a spring 2014 construction.

The project’s budget is $3.3 million, but bids came in at nearly $4.4 million from Walsh Construction – the lowest bidder – $4.5 million from W.E. O’Neil Construction and nearly $5 million from The Lombard Company, according to bid documents.

“We rejected all the bids because they all came in $1 million above what we budgeted,” Mayor Kevin Burns said. “We will rebid again, sharpen our pencils along with Metra, to design something a little more acceptable in cost.”

Metra also reviewed the bids and determined that Walsh also did not meet its business diversity requirements for minority and women-owned businesses.

According to an April 26 letter from Metra to the city, “there is no indication that the effort to solicit [minority or women-owned businesses] was any different than the effort to solicit other vendors.”

Contractors are to solicit work for these businesses and have procedures to notify the qualified contractors of the available work, according to the letter.

Dinges said Metra is looking at reducing the minority and women-owned business requirement to 10 percent from its current 20 percent because the amount of subcontracted work for the parking deck project is minimal.

Metra also has been working with the RTA to secure additional funding for the expansion, Dinges said. 

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