By Merab-Michal Favorite, Islander Reporter
Bradenton Beach city officials finally saw a step forward in the long — more than two-year — process to renovate the city pier.
The good news? The project is fully funded.
Proposals are in for the Historic Bridge Street Pier renovation and the lowest bid exceeds $1.2 million.
The sealed bids were opened during a public meeting April 21 at the Tingley Memorial Library, 111 Second St. W., Bradenton Beach.
Five construction companies submitted bids, seeking to win the contract.
The lowest proposal, $1,202,140.94, was submitted by Miami-based Pac Comm Inc.
Tampa Bay Marine of Gibsonton had the second lowest bid at $1,237,487. Shoreline Foundation Inc. of West Park bid $1,258,543, and Duncan Seawall of Sarasota bid $1,309,452. The most expensive was the bid from a Louisiana-based construction company, Russell Marine, at $1,854,625.
The city will not know which company will be awarded the contract until ZNS Engineering analyzes the bid proposals. That could take about two weeks, according to Steve Gilbert, planning official for Bradenton Beach.
“We look at several factors, including local preference, time projection and whether the plan satisfies all the needs of the city,” Gilbert said.
After the bids are analyzed, the city staff will make a recommendation and the Bradenton Beach City Commission will have final approval.
Of the 11 companies represented at a mandatory pre-bid meeting March 18 at city hall, only five submitted bids.
Gilbert said that is typical in the bid process.
“What happens is the contractors have conflicting projects and therefore don’t complete the process,” he said. “It just depends on what they have going on.”
He said construction on the pier will begin in June, but completion is dependent on the weather since it will fall in hurricane season.
If the project begins as scheduled, it will be reach completion about 10 months from the original completion target date of August 2013.
But the delay proved to be beneficial.
It resulted in an agreement for a $1 million matching-fund partnership with Manatee County, easing the financial worries of Bradenton Beach. Still, officials have been on edge to get the project started.
The pier will be funded through a joint effort by the city of Bradenton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency and Manatee County government.
The Manatee County Tourist Development Council recommended up to $1 million in matching funds for the project.
According to Mayor Bill Shearon, the county and the city CRA will split invoices as they are processed.
The county agreed to pay its share of each invoice within 30 days of receiving the bill.