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Wasco OKs contractor for labor camp demolition

The Wasco City Council approved a contractor for the $1.1 million demolition and cleanup of the Wasco Farm Labor Camp

"It's a move in the right direction toward completing the labor camp cleanup," City Manager Scott Hurlbert said, "The process has been complex, but we're ready for the final step."

The city came to an agreement with the High-Speed Rail Authority in June 2023 to get reimbursement for work at the property at 750 H St. Over the past few years, the area has been marred by problems such as crime, homelessness, fires, theft and more while remaining unoccupied.

The first procedure in clearing the site is the abatement, which should be done this week. Next is the physical destruction of the remaining structures, haul off the debris and clean the site from curb to curb.

The bid process was not without its hurdles, though.

Hurlbert explained, "On December 5, we went through the first go around of the demolition phase bidding. There were problems with the low bidder, then there were further procedural issues with the next bidder."

"During that process, there were questions by other bidders about the low bidder, their qualifications and their fulfillment of the bid documents themselves. As a result, there were enough questions about the outcome, that this council voted to reject all those bids and voted to rebid this project, which we did."

"On December 17, we released the bid, as that bid had some clarifications in the document itself, to hopefully avoid the confusion that occurred in the first go around, including the one bidder that didn't attend the job walk."

"On January 3, a mandatory job walk was held at the site. All seven of the ultimate bidders did attend that mandatory job walk."

"There was an addendum issued on January 5 answering questions that were collected during the job walk, and then on January 10, seven bids were received and publicly opened and read to the bidders that were present."

"After viewing the received bids on that day and doing our due diligence, we concluded that Unlimited Environmental, Inc., the apparent low bid, was not responsive. There were portions of the document that were not fulfilled properly. That brought us to the second low bid. This is an apparently fully responsive bid, the next lowest bid at $ 1,149,525."

"We believe this is the fully responsive low bid at this time, and staff is recommending that the council reject the bid by Unlimited Environmental, Inc. as unresponsive and move forward with awarding the bid and executing a resolution in favor of Amerivet Contracting for $1,149, 525."

Regarding the demolition and cleanup cost, Hurlbert said, "This is a reimbursement arrangement. We have approximately $6.4 million left on our reimbursement agreement with High-Speed Rail. This amount is well within that balance, and we have no trouble covering the cost."


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