Last week, two Bourbonnais village trustees voted against installing a storm drain at the intersection of Career Center Road and Bethel Drive.
Trustees Rick Fischer and Jeff Keast voted against the project because it will cost $8,564 more than an estimate compiled by Tyson Engineering.
The village board awarded a $97,790 contract with Ruben E. Smith Construction, of Bradley, to install the storm drain and re-seed the area. Tyson Engineering estimated the project would cost $89,226.
It was the second time the village bidded out the project in as many months. They rejected all the bids in June because they were above the engineer’s estimate. This time, the four bids were still above Tyson Engineering’s projection.
Fischer particularly didn’t understand the varying costs of grading and reshaping ditches. The four companies charged between $6,200 to $30,909 just for that part of the project.
“Looking at the line items, I just thought it was all out of whack,” Fischer said. “I just couldn’t vote for it because things were extremely different from one contractor to another. I don’t know how to put it. I just wasn’t happy with it.”
Despite two sets of high bids, Keast felt the bids would eventually lower.
“The engineer’s estimate was quite a bit lower than what it was,” Keast said. “I think the prices will come down when contractors aren’t quite as busy as they are now.”
Mayor Paul Schore wasn’t confident the bids would drop and noted that public safety was at stake. The intersection often floods and in the past has been a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
“We have a safety issue where the road gets flooded,” Schore said. “We have three schools in the neighborhood, a bus facility and the police and fire departments driving down there.
“We can’t roll the dice and wait until the fall to see if the price goes down. We can’t take that gamble. We need to get it resolved before school starts. Sometimes you just have to do the project.”
Schore said the project will start within the coming weeks.