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Downtown paving must be rebid, AG’s office says

A downtown paving project will have to be rebid because of theway a rejected proposal was handled, Brookhaven officials said.

Mayor Bob Massengill said he had spoken with the attorneygeneral’s office and was advised the oft-delayed project must waitagain.

In December, aldermen rejected a $697,146.34 bid from Dickersonand Bowen because it exceeded funds available for the project.Aldermen last week reversed course and voted to go forward with theproject, but Massengill said that was not allowable.

“Once it is rejected, you can’t resurrect the bid,” Massengillsaid.

The mayor said the bid could still have been awarded if it hadbeen brought up again at the December meeting after it wasrejected.

“Once it’s rejected and you adjourn the meeting, you can’t goback and rescind that at a later date,” Massengill said.

The board of aldermen’s next opportunity to vote to advertisethe project would be at next Tuesday’s meeting.

City Engineer Carl Ray Furr downplayed the impact of anypossible delay.

“It won’t hurt now at this time of the year,” Furr said, becauseof the weather needed to be able to pave streets under night-timeconditions. “It has to be 50 degrees and above.”

With three weeks needed for advertisement, Furr expected theproject could be ready to go forward in five to six weeks, pendingweather conditions. City officials last week did not anticipatepaving work beginning before May, but handicap ramp accessibilitywork could begin sooner.

“That can be done in the daytime without screwing up traffic,”Furr said.

Furr said the engineer’s estimate for the project is around$550,000. He said the new bid totals would depend on a number offactors, including the price of oil, which is used in theproduction of asphalt.

“That’s going to have some effect on it,” Furr said.

The city has about $512,000 in accumulated federal funds, whichwill be matched by $112,000 in local funds, available. If needed tofund the project, officials are prepared to borrow against another$110,000 federal allocation is will become available inOctober.