GLO to Gonzales County: Rebid tower project


Gonzales County commissioners voted unanimously Monday, June 10, to reject the sole bid they received for a radio communications tower project after being advised to do so by the Texas General Land Office.

Commissioners are expected to authorize rebidding the project at a special called meeting either Monday, June 17 or Tuesday, June 18, after changes are made to the bid specifications so that the project can be advertised in the June 20 and June 27 edition of the Gonzales Inquirer as required by law.

On May 28, the court had voted 3-2 to send a letter from Hanson Professional Services and Langford Community Management Services to the GLO — signed by Commissioners K.O. “Dell” Whiddon, Donnie Brozozowski and Kevin La Fleur — asking the government agency to allow the county to accept the sole bid received from the Lower Colorado River Authority.

During that meeting, Judge Pat Davis and Commissioner Collie Boatright voted against sending the letter, stating they believed the county should rebid the project due to protests raised by potential bidders Motorola and Victoria Communications Systems about incorrect information within the bidding notice and a lack of time given to properly prepare tower specifications.

At Monday’s meeting, Anna Aldridge, Hanson vice president and senior project manager, told commissioners she had a discussion with GLO representatives on Wednesday, June 5, and they verified and clarified that they would require the county to rebid the project since there was only one bid received.

“The GLO said their regulations — and their funding — would be contingent on that,” Aldridge said. “You would need to reject all the bids and then authorize the county to rebid the project.”

Gonzales County had opened bids Monday, April 15, for the tower project, which is being paid for through a $6,071,588.57 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the GLO Mitigation Funding cycle as a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in 2017. The county received just the one bid from LCRA and two notices of intent to no-bid and protest from Motorola and VCS.

When asked how long the county should allow for new bids to be submitted, Aldridge told the court that the timeframe is up to them. However, she noted that “one of the comments received was that potential bidders didn’t feel they had enough time to respond.” The county only gave bidders 30 days to respond to the initial request that was published in the Inquirer and posted to CiviCast.

“They (the protesting bidders) suggested 8-12 weeks and my recommendation would be to go up to the 12-week timeframe and to the farthest point so that there would be no reason anyone would protest,” Aldridge said.

When asked by Brzozowski whether eight weeks or 12 weeks would be acceptable, Anita Scoggins of VCS told the court “If you want an additional bid, even from the other tower company, the 12 weeks is more reasonable.”

“Let’s do the 12 weeks, then, so no one can come back and complain if they can’t get it done in 12 weeks,” Brzozowski said. “We’ve already wasted enough time on this. Twelve weeks, no one can fuss and we can go right on down the road.”

“I think they had close to four months to do this,” La Fleur said. “If they’re that anxious to get the job, they should have been working on this the whole time.”

Boatright said he believes there are other vendors that may want to bid as well, including at least one local company, who also may not have felt there was enough time to get in a proper bid.

Aldridge said there are changes that would have to be made to the specs having to do with references to specific radio displays that would need to be removed. The new bid specifications would then have to be authorized by the court.

When reminded that the Inquirer’s advertising deadline is noon Tuesdays for a Thursday edition, the court agreed to hold a special called meeting next week in order to approve the specifications so the project could be rebid in time to make the June 20 edition.

“Make sure it says Gonzales County on the bid as well,” Brzozowski said, referring to a misprint in the original notice which referred to a different county and was another thing that was a subject of the protest by the non-bidding companies.