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Oak Lawn Trustees Approve $5 Million ‘No-Bid’ Contract

Village board waives formal bidding process for street resurfacing.

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.

Michael Walsh May 13, 2011 at 08:27 PM
I find it interesting that people who would never consider using the cheapest contractor for a project on their own home always demand competitive bidding for government projects. My experience is that generally YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR! Cheapest is not always best, but once you have the bid you are pretty much stuck with using the lowest one or your opponents will scream about backroom deals. When I was on the Village board and when I was a municipal attorney I saw first hand the results when the lowest bidder was used. These decisions frequently resulted in problems and sometimes litigation over bad work, cost overruns and missed deadlines.
footprintsonernie May 13, 2011 at 09:03 PM
There was no company before K-Five because the streets weren't done. But at least we didn't have footprints in our concrete. By the way, did Carol Quinlan vote in favor of the contract? I thought it was unanimous but I guess the reporter doesn't want to put all the facts in the story
William J Murphy May 13, 2011 at 09:41 PM
K-Five Construction has successfully bid and constructed numerous projects for the people of Illinois. Our clients include the Illinois Department of Transportation; Illinois State Toll Highway Authority; O'Hare International Airport; City of Chicago; Counties of Cook, DuPage, Will, and Kane; various municipalities; and railroads. Some of our recent projects are O'Hare, Midway, and Stevenson Expressway. (K5 WEBSITE) If you need any information on the road construction industry, please feel free to visit any of the above sites that K-Five is proud to do business with and/or are members of Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT): www.dot.state.il.us Illinois State Toll Highway Authority (ISTHA): www.illinoistollway.com Illinois Road Builders Association (IRBA): www.irba.org Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association (IAPA): www.il-asphalt.org ACPA American Concrete Pavement Association www.pavement.com Someone is connected to someone.
scouter May 14, 2011 at 12:48 AM
I have no problem with K-Five getting a heads up - for their past work and the loyalty BUT, instead of all the nasty infighting, this should have gone out for bids... Is there other work that is planned for the fall or the winter (you know - those decorations along 95th street) that should already be out there for bidding? And here we go again, with the Village Manager OK'ing spending and Ok'ing projects and TALKING the Village Board into approving something again (aka: Lawyers??? Odelson???)... And he's not even elected...
Oak Lawn Gal May 14, 2011 at 02:30 AM
My experience with competitive bidding on the corporate side is that we don't always go with the lowest bidder. Price is only one component in the criteria we look at. Each criterion is weighted and the final score gives us the top 3 bidders. We then interview the top 3 and award the contract after considering not only the proposal amount but all other factors. When the scope of work enters the million dollar area I don't know why you wouldn't expect competitive bidding. Had the village manager initiated the process back in February time wouldn't be an issue. And K-Five might very well have still won the contract but at a lower bid.
Oak Lawn Gal May 14, 2011 at 02:51 AM
Yes the Village Manager really runs the administrative side of village business. In the city manager-council model the city manager or village manager in our case has a lot of responsibility and a lot of power. He manages the day to day operation of village business. The mayor and trustees are part time and do seem to follow Deetjen's lead. But I'm not sure how the mayor-council model would work in Oak Lawn. Given the imprtance of the position it might make more sense to have the village manage be an elecetd position and not appointed. I see pros and cons in each model.
andy skoundrianos May 14, 2011 at 03:33 AM
Was waiting for the " do they know someone in the village " excuse to come up what took you so long mmmmm I thought Dave would have told you to blog this yesterday. Ask Dave did he know someone from tressler before the village hired them as attorney's in 2005???
andy skoundrianos May 14, 2011 at 03:42 AM
Hey Oak Lawn gal were you one of Dave's buddies that worked with Myrna to forge signatures to get that phony referendum on the ballot?? You know the one with over 1,000 forged signatures and is know under investigations?? Dave loved village manager form of government until a real village manager came in and told him no once in a while. Check back in Dave's 2005 literature where he states A village manager form of government is the best form for Oak Lawn besides we had it for 55 years!!
Oak Lawn Gal May 14, 2011 at 03:50 AM
No Andy I wasn't. I don't do things that are illegal. Do you? It's interesting that you're using Dave as a source to support using the city/village manager - council model.
andy skoundrianos May 14, 2011 at 03:57 AM
Read his literature it's all there in fact I think the patch has that piece on it's site from back in april. I'm only pointing out Dave's usual hypocrisy on issues. He stated he was 1,000 percent behind the failed referendum.. His words not mine.. Do you remember Joe Faber?? He was the worst manager we ever had. I don't recall a big effort to change the form of government from 93-05 when Joe ran this village into the ground. I just waited fora new board majority to get in and fire him. That's how you do it
Oak Lawn Gal May 14, 2011 at 04:11 AM
I think more people are following local politics and realize how much sway the village manager has. The question isn't about the person being good or bad in the role. The question is more about the governmental model. Are people comfortable having that much influence in an appointed position? As I said I can see pros and cons in the current model. I have more trouble visualizing how the council-mayor model would work in a smaller community like Oak Lawn. I do see some merit in making the village manager role an elected position.
Jim Vondracek May 14, 2011 at 09:08 AM
I think asking the contractors to support Fall on the Green is a great idea. $25,000 is only one-half of one percent of the contract - that seems like a good number to me.
Jim Vondracek May 14, 2011 at 09:17 AM
Andy, I would urge you to consider not posting attacks on Mayor Heilmann and other posters on every Patch article. Its counter-productive, it detracts from the issues in the Patch articles (for example, this article was about no-bid street repair contracts, not the village's legal counsel or the referendum regarding the form of government), and it makes the comments section of Patch nearly unreadable.
OakLawnGuy May 14, 2011 at 02:22 PM
Go to the proper column or news item for this comment, Andy. You're more scatter-shot than QC, your nemesis.
OakLawnGuy May 14, 2011 at 02:23 PM
Cmon Andy, stay on point. You're in the right church and the wrong pew.
Jim Who?? May 14, 2011 at 08:20 PM
Jim who left you the boss of patch?? What about all the loony comments by all of the Phelan- haters out there?? The wild conspiracy bloggers on this site?? The attacking of people's families and spouses?? You protest too much
QC May 14, 2011 at 09:46 PM
footprints, ask someone to read this to you! "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. It's on about the 33rd line down from the top. Hope you can count.
QC May 14, 2011 at 09:49 PM
bobby streit was ALL for change in the form of government a couple of years back. I believe he was one of the leaders of the movement.
Uh Oh May 14, 2011 at 10:11 PM
Andy, this article is about another no bid contract. Read this literature.
Long Memory May 14, 2011 at 10:13 PM
This forum has gone in a lot of directions but I had to address Andy's comment on Joe Faber. He obviously or conveniently forgot the Bob Streit crew's appointment of the infamous Mike Feeley as Village Manager when the town truly was run to the brink of bankruptcy.
OakLawnGuy May 15, 2011 at 01:15 AM
Long Memory, that IS a long memory. I forgot about that guy, from the days when Streit and Mozwecz were trying to get something going. Here's a story about it: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1992-05-05/news/9202090860_1_kolb-5th-district-oak-lawn.
Sam Wilson May 15, 2011 at 01:20 AM
And, yet, Bob remains.
Oak Lawn Gal May 15, 2011 at 01:39 AM
Didn't Bob win by just 11 votes against Sodaro as a write in? These examples of bad village managers hired by trustees doesn't inspire confidence.
andy skoundrianos May 15, 2011 at 04:30 AM
I didn't forget Feeley. You really think we were better off with Faber and Kolb?? Now you guys have to bring up the coalition party's infamous reign to refute my statements??? Your really digging fossils to make Dave look good??? Harold Mozwecz has died,Kolb has died. Guess what Faber got in less than a year after Feeley by guess what?? Kolb got re-elected and won the majority back that's how you remove a manager not by a referendum. How did we do with Faber guys?? No one was worse than Faber period....By the way I think Sodaro was a sophmore in High School when that stuff went down now that's a long memory
andy skoundrianos May 15, 2011 at 04:36 AM
I thought The Mayor liked Larry in the begining, they all agreed on him when he was hired. But the mayor found out he couldn't run things as usual and then oops maybe Oak Lawn doesn't need a manager?? 16% turnout does show apathy or lack of confidence. Truly a sad statement on local government as a whole
Long Memory May 15, 2011 at 02:47 PM
Andy apparently has forgotten that two years of Streit, Barron, Mozewicz, Hefka, and Feeley control of the Village. Burt Odelson was the Village Attorney. Favors were given and reciprocated on a daily basis and government service was available to the highest bidder or benefactor. Streit ran for Mayor with the blind hope of continuing the sham and got trounced by Kolb whose party retook control of the Board and brought stability back to local government. Hefka fled town. Barron and Mozewicz became non-descript Feeley subsequently went to prison and Bob was left by himself. What a legacy.
Albert in a can May 15, 2011 at 04:43 PM
DUM DA DUM DUM.
on the record May 19, 2011 at 02:01 AM
The Reporter On-Line May 12, 2011 By Bob Jaderberg Oak Lawn awards roadwork contract worth $5.2 million Construction co. gets no-bid deal, will contribute to Fall on the Green Burke Engineering has agreed to reduce its fees by $8,000, village engineer Jack Gallagher said. FEDS RAID CRESTWOOD'S ENGINEERING FIRM According to a June 25, 2009 report by Chicago's WGN radio: Federal agents raided the offices of CRESTWOOD'S ENGINEERING FIRM, the latest step in a criminal investigation into the Cook County suburb's secret use of a community well contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals. Randy Chastain, president of BURKE ENGINEERING, 18330 Distinctive Dr., Orland Park, confirmed that investigators from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency served a search warrant obtained by U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald's office. The agents left with boxes of engineering diagrams and other records related to the firm's work for Crestwood. "We're cooperating," Chastain said. "We offered them everything we have on record."
on the record May 19, 2011 at 02:03 AM
whos the concrete subcontractor
Uh Oh May 21, 2011 at 07:57 PM
Andy Who is the concrete sub contractor? Is it a local?

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