Newspaper Archive of
The Big Timber Pioneer
Big Timber, Montana
August 30, 2002     The Big Timber Pioneer
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August 30, 2002

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Page 2 -- BIG TIMBER (MT) PIONEER -- Week of Aug. 30 - Sept. 5, 2002 Continued of the intersections in town, so there is nowhere to paint yellow lines, Conner pointed out. If there are no yellow lines, whoever has to give out parking tickets would have to get out and measure from the corner each time he thought a vehicle was too close. "I think you're opening up a can of worms that you're not going to be able to enforce," Conner said. Councilman Phil Moulden thought if there was an accident, the ordinance would put some blame on a person parked illegally (within 30 feet of the intersection) if the driv- ers couldn't see around the corner. The proposed ordinance reads, "Except as otherwise provided in this Code, the operator or owner of a vehicle shall not stop, stand or park such vehicle on any City right of way or roadway within thirty (30) feet of an intersection. This restric- tion applies to all vehicles, trailers, boats, equipment and recreational vehicles whether motorized or not." If passed, the ordinance would become effective 30 days after the second and final adoption at the City Council meeting. Other business discussed at the meeting: • The Council approved the city budget for fiscal year 2002-2003 with no major changes. • Councilman Paul Westervelt -suggested dog licenses be sold at City Hall instead of at the veterinary clinics in town. People would get shots for their dogs at the clinics and bring the receipts to City Hall. It was mentioned the dogcatcher, Ed Crocitto, should do the paperwork so he knows which animals are licensed. Bidding causes controversy Controversy arose Monday night, Aug. 19 about the bidding procedure of the sidewalk project at the Big Timber City Council meet- ing. The Community Transportation Enhancement Program (CTEP) side- walk project involves construction of new sidewalk and curb and side- walk replacement work within Big Timber. Bids were accepted lor the proj- ect until l p.m. on Friday, Aug. 16. DL Graft Construction bid on the project and was the lowest bid- der. Representatives from Diamond D Five Enterprises and Scott Long Construction (other bidders on the project) complained at the council meeting thai the bidding procedure was irregular and unethical. David Graft brought in his bid before 1 p.m. Friday, but it was not in an envelope, which was specified as a requirement in the public notice of the bid invitation. City/County Planner Betty Alexander told Graft to put it in an envelope and address it properly. According to Alexander and Councilman Cory Conner --who was also present-- Groff had the bid in an envelope and on the table by 1:00. They even had to wait another two minutes after Graft submitted his bid before they could open and read the bids aloud, Alexander said. Duane Long and Ted Derheim, representing two of the other compa- nies, said the bid was not on the table by the time the bids closed at 1 p.m. They also said the envelope was not addressed properly, and was only fastened with the metal clasp, not licked, rendering it an unsealed bid. Bids have been thrown out for irregularities of even less caliber, sure officials proceed according to protocol. "It was the most unethical damn thing I've ever seen. This is wrong. This is dead wrong," Long said of the city's decision to waive the irreg- ularity and recommend Graft the contract. Alexander thought the other bidders exaggerated what went on Friday. The city of Big Timber announced it can reject or accept bids in the instance that something unusual occurs in the bidding process. The bid invitation in the Pioneer reads, "The City of Big Timber reserves the right to reject any or all bids and to waive any irregularities or informalities and the right to determine what constitutes any and all irregularities or infor- malities." The City Council, which voted 4-0 to recommend DL Graft as the contractor, and Alexander all agreed the irregularities did not affect the fairness of the bidding. "I think this irregularity we keep talking about is insignificant," City Attorney Bill Frazier remarked. DL Graft Construction was rec- ommended for the project as the lowest bidder. With three schedules for the project to choose from, the City Council recommended sched- ule two, which includes everything on the city's wish list. The city will have to kick in an extra $8,200 in cash to add to the CTEP funds to complete all the areas. DL Groff bid schedule two at $107,841; Diamond D Five Enterprises bid at $124,049.38; Scott Long Construction bid $124,898; and William R. Lane Construction bid $166,540.30. Alexander will run the bids by Derheim reported. He thinks a CTEP for a final decision, and the CTEP representative needs to be reconstruction and new sidewalk present at all bid sessions to make project should start in September. presently prevent evacuation of the Main Boulder corridor in the event of fire. "What if a truck with a trailer jackknifed in here. There would be no way to get around it," stressed Avey. The proposed work will be done in two phases. The first phase will include surveying the Boulder Road from Natural Bridge to Box Canyon, designing the proposed construction project, finalizing right of way agreements, and doing an environmental assessment. The second phase will align approximately a mile and a half of the major bottleneck in the Boulder River roadway to improve the vertical and horizontal curves, increase the width to two full driving lanes, and improve the driving surface with crushed gravel. When Juell was asked by the Pioneer reporter how this narrow section of road could be improved, he replied there are probably many options. One option he thought about is building a retaining wall near the river and building the road up eight or more feet to allow for a two lane road. He added there are probably many other ways of fixing the road. "That's why we are applying for the grant. We need help in doing this project," he added. Another project the U.S. Forest Service has done to improve the safety of the road is reducing trees along the Boulder Road this spring. "The tree reduction project has really worked. It has given better visibility on curves, allows the road to dry out more quickly after rains, and clears the snow faster in the spring," said Juell. He added, "The cooperation between the counties and the Forest Service is a real step forward." Improving the road is one of the many steps being taken to ensure the safety of the people, who live and recreate up the Boulder. 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