Conflict of interest arises in Clintonville project bid
Committee declines to award contract to co. owned by parks director’s father
By Bert Lehman
The Clintonville Finance Committee has chosen Hammertime Construction as the carpenter contractor for the city Parks and Recreation Department office and storage facility to be built this year.
Hammertime Construction submitted a quote of $27,676 for the park office and storage building, and $10,920 for the cold storage building.
Mc Auly Construction and Triple C Construction submitted a quote of $28,500 for the park office and storage building, and $11,000 for the cold storage building.
City Administrator Sharon Eveland said at an April 8 finance committee meeting she was presenting the matter to the committee because Clintonville Parks and Recreation Director Justin Mc Auly recommended Mc Auly Construction and Triple C Construction be awarded the contract despite not having the lowest bid.
Mc Auly Construction is owned by Justin Mc Auly’s father.
Justin Mc Auly told the committee that the two contractors submitted quotes for labor for the construction project.
He said he recommended Mc Auly Construction because the company has worked with the city in the past, as it was hired to do the carpentry work on the remodeling project of the enclosed shelter at W.A. Olen Park.
Justin Mc Auly also recommended Mc Auly Construction because the company can purchase the overhead doors for the project for around $970 less than if the city purchased the doors through Torberg’s.
He added, “I felt they did an excellent job with the enclosed shelter with material waste.”
Justin Mc Auly said Hammertime Construction did not submit its quotes prior to the March 28 deadline.
“Hammertime Construction actually turned it in on the 29th and that was due to me actually calling them up to see if he was going to turn it in,” Mc Auly said.
Committee member Brad Rokus said he believes in going with the low bid.
“Setting conflict of interest aside, I’m about low bid,” Rokus said. “And putting the conflict of interest in there, I’m really about low bid.”
Committee member Brandon Braden said typically if a deadline is missed, it is not considered a bid.
Rokus asked if the city had asked for request for proposals or a competitive bid.
Eveland said it was not a competitive bid.
“So missing the deadline is not a good way to start, but it’s not a disqualifying event,” Rokus said.
Rokus asked why the city did not officially request bids on the project.
Eveland said part of the issue then was the question of would the entire project be bid out for one bid.
“This is just labor. This isn’t the cost of materials or anything like that,” Eveland said. “And the attempt was to keep the cost down.”
Committee member Jim Supanich agreed the city should have requested official bids for the project given the dollar amounts involved.
“I understand the urgency of trying to get it done and to keep it under costs, but without the bid process, we don’t know if the bid process would be over this amount or not,” Supanich said.
Justin Mc Auly told the committee he is the general contractor for the project, and he individually requested quotes from contractors for the different phases of the project.
“I’m waiting on this one, and if we wait any longer, you won’t have a carpenter, period,” Justin Mc Auly said. “It’s coming down to the point where we need to break ground soon.”
“There is no way we could have made it happen for $190,000 if we had bid this entire project out as one project,” Eveland said.
The committee awarded the contract to Hammertime Construction by a 3-1 vote. Committee Chairman Mike Hankins voted no.