The Oak Lawn Village Board voted to waive bidding for the village’s summer street resurfacing, awarding a $5 million contract to K-Five Construction Corporation of Lemont.
Village Manager Larry Deetjen told the board that K-Five has held the village's street resurfacing contract for the past three years. The company is already mobilized on Central Avenue doing road construction for the Illinois Department of Transportation.
“I have a problem with this not going out to bid,” Trustee Carol Quinlan (5th) said. “I know they’ve done a great job for Oak Lawn. I just think when you’re looking at dollar amounts this large, you should go out to bid.”
Deetjen said the village would save about $150,000 because K-Five has held the costs on labor and materials. IDOT, on the other hand, has posted on its web site a 7.8 percent increase in labor and materials.
Putting the village’s street resurfacing contract out to bid now could delay the work another 30 to 60 days, as companies lock in bids and set up their summer work schedules, costing Oak Lawn money in the end, Deetjen said.
“I stand by my recommendation,” the village manager added.
Mayor Dave Heilmann suggested that K-Five kick in a $25,000 contribution to Fall on the Green, Oak Lawn’s annual end-of-summer festival.
“It’s perfectly legal and perfectly beneficial,” Heilmann said. “We’re asking, ‘Are you going to contribute and help out the people who are giving you a contract of this magnitude?’”
“Actually, we’ve gone that route,” Trustee Tom Phelan (6th) said. “We’re trying.”
Oak Lawn trustees unanimously approved the $5 million contract. After the vote, Deetjen said he had already talked to K-Five about contributing to Fall on the Green.
“In the interest of transparency,” Deetjen said, “I’ve had that discussion separately and I share with you that tonight I’ve seen the commitment but not at the level (mentioned by the mayor).”
Quinlan asked that the village be allowed more time next year to bid out street resurfacing.
“I feel under the gun,” she said.
Deetjen said that communications have been flowing about the street resurfacing since February.
“These are unusual times,” he said. “We have a lot of construction projects coming down the pipeline and the private sector in Oak Lawn. I’m hopeful we’re back to some normalcy in the area of construction by 2012.”
The village plans to have approximately 12 miles of neighborhood streets resurfaced this summer.