ROCK SPRINGS — Citing a lack of adequate time to review the requests for proposal, the Rock Springs City Council rejected a contract for professional services in the amount of $520,000 to JFC Engineering Surveyors for the Bitter Creek Reclamation Project.
Council voted down the resolution after a motion to table the measure for further discussion was denied during council’s regular meeting last night.
Councilor Keaton West said he didn’t feel comfortable approving the resolution after having received the requests for proposal just 24 hours before the council meeting. While he felt the JFC proposal was thorough, he didn’t believe it was fair to award the contract due to the amount of time they had to review them.
“It seems like there is some gray area here,” West said. “Can we make (the RFP) more strict where it’s more apples to apples. I know this isn’t a bid, its an RFP, but it just seems like from our perspective as we’re trying to dissect it with the 24 hours we’ve been given, it’s difficult to iron through all that.”
The city also received a proposal from Western Engineers and Geologists in addition the the JFC proposal.
Paul Kaucich, Director of Engineering and Operations, said his office can adjust the RFP and “provide more guidance” but that “part of the proposal process is for these consultants to take a look at the project and interject their own ideas.”
The recommendations from the committee reviewing the RFPs are broken down on a point system, and Kaucich said the committees look at all of them thoroughly before bringing a favorite to the council.
“You’re looking for a consultant that provides above and beyond the other ones,” Kaucich said of the proposal process. “You’re looking for a consultant that thinks outside the box. We want what’s best for the city.”
West said the design pricing and the construction management pricing are “far apart” between JFC and Western Engineers and Geologists. He said he understands it’s not all about price, but to the average constituent that is “the big one.”
Councilor Ryan Greene said the biggest part for him is the justification of cost. He said he asked the city for a cost breakdown of the project but never received one.
“To JFC’s credit we might be getting a great deal. We might be getting a heck of a deal,” Greene said. “But when we’re talking about a half million dollars in (Abandoned Mine Land) funds and public funds and public trust, we have a lot of responsibility in making the right decision.”
Councilor Rob Zotti said he’d like to see firm answers as to why council can justify the differences in the proposals and doesn’t want “wild assumptions and things that are not in any way substantiated.”
Following the discussion, council voted 6-1 to reject the proposal put forth by JFC. Only Jeannie Demas voted for the measure while Mayor Tim Kaumo abstained as an employee of JFC.