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Monte Council rejects bids rather than deal with Main Street contractor again

Monte Council rejects all bids for drilling project, instead of working with Main St. contractor again

MONTESANO — Just weeks after complaining about the work done by South Bay Excavating on the Main Street Phase II project in the downtown area, Montesano City Council members were faced with a dilemma of being forced to work with the construction firm again.

South Bay, out of Olympia, offered the lowest bid of $214,469 to do a directional drilling project for the city of Montesano. That was just $135 bid lower than Rognlin’s out of Aberdeen, which had a bid of $214,632. Two other bids came in higher.

City officials say they spent six hours calling references and trying to figure a way out of giving the bid to South Bay. But, when it looked like the city would have no choice but award the bid to the lowest bidder, the council decided to reject all of the bids and hope for better results next time.

“That was probably the worst project I’ve ever experienced in my entire life,” Councilman Doug Streeter said. “They’re horrible.”

South Bay owner Jim Clements said the construction firm did the best they could and laid the blame on the Main Street issues on the city’s contracted engineer. He says he’s disappointed the city council members are holding a grudge.

“I’m really hoping for a chance to explain things to the council,” Clements said. “Businesses will always complain when construction is happening next door, but we did our best.”

Mayor Ken Estes says he spoke to the company ents and invited officials to attend the 7 p.m., Nov. 26 council meeting at Montesano City Hall.

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