Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
Several of you might be asking, “Whatever happened to the Main Beach dumpster controversy?” Well, thanks to the vigilance of our city commissioners, who insisted that the city could get a better price if they really tried hard, at last week’s June 5, 2012 marathon meeting the FBCC authorized an additional expenditure of $1,500 to allow construction of a dumpster in the median of the parking lot at Main Beach.
City Engineer Glen Semanisin in response to a commissioner’s question, said work is planned to start as soon as possible. You may recall that this issue was scrutinized and debated in painful detail at an FBCC meeting in March, after a series of fiascos. At that time, the low bid for this task, which involved building a dumpster pad and attractively screening it came in at $4.900, with some of this money donated by the adjacent condo association that had objected to the previous plan to place the garbage dumpster literally under their noses. So after all the delays, orders and counter orders, bids and rebids, a new bid came in at $4,068. Vice Mayor Jeffrey Bunch said, “See? I told you!” proving that the project could be completed for less than the last low bid. City Manager Joe Gerrity added that projects like this would be done in house by the Maintenance Department in the future.
When the City commits to doing a project in house that was not budgeted and planed for either the City is overstaffed, of they will defer the projects and work that they should be doing. The results are generally that the project is more costly than contracting.
One only needs to look at the maintenance and preventive maintenance to verfity this.
You are correct, Len. In this particular case, Semanisin said in the March meeting that the city does not have staff trained to do concrete work. I don’t think some of our commissioners consider the true cost of doing the work in-house, factoring salaries, benefits, etc. as part of the cost. In-house work is not “free.”