MINUTES: December 4, 2014

Mayor Jerri Medrano
Mayor Pro-Temp James Mizell Alderman Eric Anderson
Alderman Tim Hatten
Alderman Gary Nash
Alderman Jake Walker
The City of Hallsville Council meeting convened in special session at 4:30 P.M. on Thursday, December 4, 2014, at City Hall located at 115 Main Street.
The following members were present:
Mayor Jerri Medrano Mayor Pro Tem James Mizell Alderman Gary Nash Alderman Tim Hatten
Alderman Jake Walker

The following members were absent:

Alderman Eric Anderson

City Of Hallsville Staff Present:

City Secretary Kimberly Smith Water Superintendent Rickey Dugger
Special Guests Present:
Kyle Stevens, Hayes Engineering
I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Jerri Medrano.
II. Invocation
The Invocation was led by Mayor Jerri Medrano.
III. Pledge of Allegiance
The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Mayor Medrano.
IV. Items to Be Considered

1. Presentation, discussion, and action of bids received for Water Line Improvements Phase 1 presented by Kyle Stephens, Hayes Engineering.

The Mayor turned the meeting over to Kyle Stevens, Hayes Engineering.

Kyle Stevens stated, you all should have a copy of the bid tabulation in your packet. We received eight bids on bid day which was November 13th at 2:00 here at City Hall. The lowest bidder or the apparent lowest bidder was Centerline Utilities, Inc out of Fort Worth in the amount of $1,458,421.00 which that was a decent amount under what our anticipated budget was so we feel good about the numbers that came in that includes a $100,000 allowance to allow for unknowns that I am sure we will run into since this is a 1930-40’s some of it so yeah, so some of this property people haven’t put their eyes on it, so anyways, once we received the bids, I wasn’t familiar with Centerline Utilities, obviously they were from Fort Worth and some of these others we have worked with, so I immediately went to the statement of qualifications and started calling references. There were three (3) references that were on their statement of qualifications, City of Katy, I call it the City of well, let me list the three (3) references, City of Katy, Board Lake, and then a development in the City of Dallas that was done for the Pulte Group which is a development company, subdivision was Lakeview or something like that, but anyways so I started calling the different references so I called down to their first reference which was, yeah their first reference was Frank Adams P.E., it was for Kings Ranch in the City of Katy, at the time I asked Mr. Adams what all they had done for him and he confirmed generally speaking the approximate items that they had listed in the statement of qualifications, at that time I asked him if he was the Engineer for the City of Katy, he represented himself as such, everything seemed good, but once we first started talking he immediately started talking about how great they were, no change orders, or all that good stuff that’s kind of odd for a half million dollar project to go 100% great no change orders, ahead of schedule, everybody was happy type of deal, so just something seemed odd so I picked up the phone and called back to the City of Katy because I had a cell phone number and there wasn’t a Frank Adams that worked for the City of Katy, didn’t have one on record for the City of Katy, and I talked to Human Resources she confirmed nobody by that name worked for the City of Katy, then I called back and to the actual City Engineer that is over all their projects, he is consultant much like ourselves, contract consultant, he said he had been working for the City of Katy since 1978 no such record of a Frank Adams, doesn’t know who Frank Adams is doesn’t have a record of King Ranch Estates and has never heard of Centerline Utilities, so that was the first reference. The second reference was Brevort Lake, Brevort Lake Sanitary District Mt Pleasant Sanitary Board, the reference was Jim Gaehrty, I spoke with Mr. Gaehrty multiple times at first he represented Brevort Lake outside of Oklahoma City about an hour and half he said that he worked for Johnson Johnson Kelly and later he said Kelly Kelly Johnson which was bought out by Black and Beach which Black and Beach is a worldwide firm. Same kind of deal, when I started talking to him 3,000 feet a day of trenching, great people, tough job, no change orders and once again we are talking about a $2.6 million dollar project with no change orders on a $2.6 million dollar project, Alderman James Mizell laughed, and Kyle stated that you have been in the Utility business for a long time and you know how that works, so once again they didn’t really give a warm fuzzy feeling about it, but I moved on to the next one. Then I talked to the next one which was Forest Acres Phase 1-3 in Dallas, Texas for the Pulte Group Walsh Terry P.E. was the reference and finally got a hold of him same type of deal, same story different verse, or same song different verse. How great they were, no change orders, ahead of schedule, knocked it out without any problems once again it was a $3.9 million dollar project, so I kind of got a little suspicious on that so I called Pulte Group, there a nationwide Home Builder and Developer, they are a big outfit. Called Pulte Group they referred me to the Dallas office, I talked to the purchasing office in the Dallas office and they had no record of Forest Acres subdivision or Centerline Utilities that they had done business with. They had said that doesn’t necessary mean anything, it could be in the Land Office, but they had no record at all of paying those bills out to, umm Centerline Utilities. So then I started talking to Mr. LaCosse, Todd LaCosse, I guess the principal of Centerline Utilities and started trying to get more information from him and I confirmed with him that Brevort Lake is in Oklahoma, and he said yes, it is an hour half southwest from Oklahoma City, by the time this was all said and done it came out that the City of Katy, they have never worked for the City of Katy and he didn’t know why it was on the statement of qualifications. Brevort Lake really isn’t Brevort Lake Oklahoma it is Brevort Lake Michigan, however he couldn’t give me any contact information from the people of Brevort Lake to confirm that he had done a Brevort Lake project and they are a little bitty Township in Michigan that probably has 200 people that live in it, so I never really got any closure of Forest Acres Subdivision, he did give me couple through multiple emails correspondences he gave me a few more, another one was with Beazer Family Homes, once again all these numbers that I called were personal cell phone numbers and when I started asking for office numbers, he really didn’t like me asking for office numbers and the only way that you can get a hold of them is by cell phone, and that’s not true cause everyone has some way if they are a repeatable business and they work for somebody, I can talk to somebody on the phone or a landline in an office. So I talked to someone at Beazer and once again it was a cell phone, same deal, and then when I asked him in passing, hey what’s your office number in case if I need to call you back, he stated I don’t know why you need that, you just need to call me on my cell phone. I the person you need to talk to and I are where it stops. Well, I don’t know about that, so anyways, that’s where we are at on the references, after all of that I didn’t have a good feeling about bringing that before council on the whenever y’alls meeting was on the 15th or whatever it was, or the 18th so I wrote a letter to the Mayor asking her to pull the agenda item that way we could do a special meeting at a later date. Since then, I wrote a certified letter to Mr. LaCosse on November 20, I wrote the certified letter and he did receive the certified letter and I also emailed it to him telling him there were discrepancies and I asked him to provide five complete accurate references for Centerline with all owner engineer, project name, contract amount, start and end dates, descriptions, and all that good stuff. An equipment inventory list of what he owned and what he leased, since there were discrepancies about the company history, a brief history of the company’s that way we can kind of connect the pieces cause he’s been in Michigan, he’s been in Florida, he’s been in Texas, we have seen some stuff that he might have been in Oklahoma, and where his corporate office is cause all of the addresses that he’s listed was a house in Fort Worth.

Alderman Tim Hatten walked in.

It was not a corporate office so, and I asked him to have all of that to me by the end of the business day this Tuesday, which was the December 2nd and he sent me an email with partial information that didn’t even come close to being a tenth of what I had asked for so and hasn’t attempted to corroborate that information as of today so,

Mayor Jerri Medrano asked if there was a representative from Centerline.

Kyle Stevens asked if any of the council had any questions about what I found.

Alderman Tim Hatten stated that he was a little late and he apologized for that, my concern for this would be that you have done all this leg work to try get this information from this particular company, are we obligated to select them to do this work for us.

Alderman Jake Walker stated that to him it doesn’t sound very reputable. Alderman Gary Nash stated that what you missed was the people that he talked to they were all cell phones, when we need to talk to the actual City of Katy and they didn’t even know who this person was. Alderman Tim Hatten stated, that none of the references panned out. Alderman Jake Walker stated that they weren’t reputable.

Kyle Stevens stated, let me read a, I actually quoted this Exeter in my certified letter to him, before being awarded the contract the low bidder shall submit such evidence of that the engineer may require to establish its financial responsibility , experience, and possession of such equipment that may be needed to prosecute the work expeditious safe and satisfactory manor, should the low bidder fail to produce evidence satisfactory to the engineer on any of the fore going points, he may be disqualified and the work will be awarded to the next lowest bidder so qualified. That’s a straight exert from the contract bids. Alderman Tim Hatten stated ok. Kyle Stevens stated does that kind of answer your question. Alderman Tim Hatten stated yeah it does. Kyle Stevens stated and that has been confirmed by Josh Searcy, y’all’s attorney, and that is in line with understanding of the law. Alderman Tim Hatten stated ok.

Mayor Jerri Medrano stated, and no one is here today from Centerline Utilities to speak. Alderman Tim Hatten stated they have had the opportunity to. Mayor Jerri Medrano stated yes yes. Kyle Stevens stated I invited him to this meeting and he has known about the meeting since November 20th, he knew the time, the date, and the address, I got an email from him about 1:00 today and it didn’t sound like he was coming.

Mayor Jerri Medrano stated, my understanding is that Mr. LaCosse didn’t provide the information that was required of him so I recommend in lieu of that fact that we reject Centerline’s bid due to him not being the responsible low bidder, do I have a motion.

Motion was made by Alderman James Mizell and seconded by Alderman Jake Walker.
Motion carried. 4 Ayes; 0 Nays; and 1 Abstention

Alderman Tim Hatten stated, let me ask this, will be go through the same process with the next person that we select or will we just, or will we offer them. Kyle Stevens stated that we will go over that after the motion. Alderman Tim Hatten stated ok.

Mayor Jerri Medrano stated that we have a motion and a second on the table, all in favor. Everybody stated I. Mayor Jerri Medrano stated ok, it’s passed.

Kyle Stevens ok, so now we y’all have made a motion and approved that motion against Centerline, the next lowest bidder was RBIS LLC out of Texarkana, in fairness to Centerline Utilities I did ask of them the identical information that I asked Centerline, they provided me, he proved most of the information upfront and he would have provided me all of the information the same day but his email got blocked in his spam folder, so two days later I got all of the information like that, that I had requested of them, RBIS is a fairly new company, they have done work for Hayes Engineering, they incorporated or formed in 2008, both of them are employees from previous companies that are utility company that is doing business under a different now, but when they did work for us, they actually bonded through a larger company and used their bonding cause at the time they didn’t have the bonding capacity and it was a $2.5 million dollar project granted it wasn’t quite apples to apples it was a rural water line job, you know pastures, roadside ditches that type of deal, but they did a good job for us, they gave me three references in their statement of qualifications and I asked for two or three additional ones, the first one they listed was Leigh Water Supply on the other side of Marshall I talked to both the engineer and the Assistant Manager, and the Assistant Manager is Buddy Powers, y’all may know him, y’all know Buddy, everybody knows Buddy, they had a changes on the change orders but it wasn’t their fault, it was legitimate requests, it was just stuff that ran into they knocked out all the punch list items, it was a good reference, and the engineer with Batain irradiated the same thing. He said he would recommend them. The second reference was Central Bowie County, Central Bowie County is up right outside the New Boston area I talked to the engineer up there on that project and he said the same thing that they did a good job, he reiterated they were a good company, and great on the paperwork, they did have a couple of change orders that were legitimate change orders and some were at the request of the owner, they worked with everybody and they finished ahead of schedule and then they would use them again. Miller County Public Water Authority talked to their engineer, same type of deal there, they were on schedule, they did have a few change orders that was from primarily from scope that they added to the project, not RBIS, he said they are right at the end of the job and they are still doing the cleanup but said they were easy to work with and he didn’t have a problem with them and they had actually done a few smaller projects for them since then. I think he had told me that he was starting to use them for their, he liked them so much that he started to use them for their maintenance contract maintenance work when it was something too big for them to do.

Alderman Tim Hatten stated all the projects that they had worked on, any of them came in above budget. Kyle Stevens stated usually when they have a change order it does come in above budget, but it sounds like from all the ones they have done majority of the change orders they have done are not necessarily something they have requested something they have ran into, they added scope, but you do have stuff, just like this we have a $100,000 allowance for change orders, it’s gonna happen, we are gonna find stuff that umm, we are talking about lines that are 60, 70, 80 years old there is stuff that Rickey doesn’t even know is there, we don’t know it’s there and we won’t find it till we get in there. So, it is to be expected, Andy Franks, we actually, our firm have a lot history with Andy, he was with our sister company before we became Hayes Engineering, he said that he has done several projects with them, actually he had a project bidding the same day and they weren’t low and he wished they had been, he’s done good work for them. Texarkana Utilities Gary Smith who runs Texarkana Utilities, same type of deal, they have done multiple projects for them and they are starting to do bigger projects for them and haven’t had any problems with them, and the last one was Mike Burg with Wake Village he said that he couldn’t say enough good things about them, this is one that now said he is their go to emergency contract if they are too big for them to do, that one came in under budget, they were good on cleanup, did have some change orders but it wasn’t anything unreasonable or unnecessary it was unavoidable and not due to their work because anything could have gone bad and it went pretty well. They checked out on all of their references, Alderman Gary Nash asked if this was RBIS, Kyle Stevens stated RBIS, Alderman Gary Nash asked if they had a corporate office, Kyle Stevens stated they do have a corporate office that is located 3040 19th Street Texarkana, Arkansas. Alderman Gary Nash stated, with a landline. Kyle Stevens stated yes. Alderman Gary Nash stated, just thought I would ask. Kyle Stevens stated, so I’ve got an equipment list with everything, everything is typical of what you think of a utility contractor they have any excavators, they have larger excavator’s, they have track loaders, trenchers, they have cleaning equipment it looks like, from the sounds of it appears that they have the capability of doing it, they are a newer company and this is the biggest project they bonded to pay I think, just cause it takes time to build your bonding capacity when you start off that’s why they have been bonding under larger companies with bigger bonder capacities and he told me that, that this was the biggest project that I bonded today but he gave me all the information that I asked for so and I’ve got copies of his references, he’s resumes, and product lists and all that stuff if y’all really wanna see it.

Motion was made by Alderman Jake Walker to go with RBIS and seconded by Alderman Tim Hatten.
Motion carried. 4 Ayes; 0 Nays; and 1 Abstention

Alderman Jake Walker stated that it sounded like they are aim to please and everyone that you talked to.

Mayor Jerri Medrano thanked Kyle. Alderman Jake Walker asked if a motion needed to adjourn. Mayor Jerri Medrano stated adjourned the meeting.

V. Adjournment

The Council meeting adjourned at 4:50 pm.

City Of Hallsville
Mayor Jerri Medrano
Kimberly Smith, City Secretary

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Faron Cain
Notary Public, State of Texas