When the bidding process for work on the expansion of the South Coastal Library was re-opened last month after some administrative issues with the winning bid, many in the community equated the problems with the library project to the bidding problems on the Indian River Inlet Bridge. The thought was that the new bids would certainly not come in as low as they did the first time, and the project would be delayed significantly.
Not so much.
Sussex County Council announced during its meeting Tuesday night that the winning bid was again submitted by Nasson Construction of Wilmington, and the price was no higher than the first time — in fact, the new bid came in $400,000 cheaper. The Council is now expected to return within 30 days to discuss final cost arrangements of the project with the Friends of the South Coastal Library (FOSCL), and the project should begin to get going shortly thereafter.
In our opinion, this entire situation was handled flawlessly by both Sussex County Council and FOSCL. County officials recognized a problem with the initial bid submitted by Nasson (which was first brought to attention by the company with the second-lowest bid, Gillis Gilkerson Inc. of Salisbury, Md.), quickly struck the first bids and started the new bidding process immediately. They were also fortunate that the bids came in even lower than before.
“Frankly, I was hopeful that we would receive numbers very similar to what we had opened the first time,” explained Sussex County Engineer Mike Izzo, “but once in a while, you get lucky.”
And FOSCL did the right thing by staying calm throughout the process, and continuing to plow ahead in their fundraising efforts, undeterred by the failed bids the first go-around.
This was a situation that could have gotten ugly around here if it was not handled in the efficient, cool-mannered method in which it was. Great job, to all involve.