Friday, October 22, 2004
November 9 Town Meeting cancelled
At an emergency meeting on Tuesday morning, the Board of Selectmen cancelled the Fall Town Meeting and the Town Election, scheduled for November 9 and 16, respectively, when it became clear that one of the Warrant Articles — a request for additional funds for the school wastewater treatment facility — could not be firmed up.
Chair of the School Building Committee Christy Barbee and School Business Manager Steve Moore explained that in the past few days the school learned that they will not have final bids on the wastewater project in time for a November 9 meeting. At a construction pre-bid conference last Friday, they learned that the school will have to solicit sub-bids, bids from all individual subcontractors. This is expected to add at least four to six weeks to the schedule.
About a year ago, Moore was told by the Attorney General's office that the project could be bid under a Massachusetts law (MGL c. 30 Sec. 39m) which only requires a bid from a general contractor, and no sub-bids. A second law (MGL c. 149) requires sub-bids, and the general contractor can then choose from the list of sub-contractors. The school had worried that sub-bids under MGL c. 149 could slow down the process and chose the one-step bid option.
At the pre-bid conference last week the School Building Committee heard of recent protests over similar projects bid under MGL c. 30 Sec. 39m, and several potential bidders said that they would not bid under that law.
The building committee has asked their engineering firm, Hoyle, Tanner and Associates, Inc. (HTA) to begin creating the necessary sub-bid documents, and hopes that they can be sent out next week. If all goes well, the sub-bids and general contractor bids could be in hand in six weeks.
Carlisle voters approved $1,278,918 for the construction of a wastewater treatment facility and a septic field at the Carlisle Public School at a Special Town Meeting in November 2003. Since then costs have risen by more than 10%, requiring appropriation of the additional funds.
Town Meeting to be rescheduled
Two financial issues drove the need for a Fall Town Meeting: the need to approve additional funds for the wastewater facility, and the need to appropriate funds for a new heating/cooling (HVAC) system for the Town Hall. Both issues remain urgent, but all agreed that calling two Town Meetings within two or three months would not be reasonable. Instead, the Selectmen decided to postpone the vote on the HVAC system as well and to reschedule the Town Meeting to either December 6 or January 11.
Bid packages for the HVAC, sent out this week, were dated so that bids would be valid through January.
© 2004 The