Firehouse Addition bid

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 30, 2009

City opens bids for firehouse addition

By John Howell Sr.

Bids on an addition for sleeping quarters construction at Batesville Fire Station Number 2 ranged from $291,000 to $445,392 when they were opened at the city hall Wednesday.

The Batesville Fire Department began requesting the construction of sleeping quarters for its on-duty firemen eight years ago.

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In 2008, the construction gained new urgency with a threat from the State Ratings Bureau that it could raise the fire insurance rating classification, resulting in higher fire insurance premiums in the city.

Architect Girault Jones joined Batesville Mayor Jerry Autrey, Fire Chief Tim Taylor and other firemen and city officials to open bids before representatives from most of the 13 contractors who bid on the job.

“You’ve got a room full of hungry folks,” one contractor’s representive said.

The low bid submitted by WMP Construction of Columbus was seventh of the sealed bids to be opened by Jones and read aloud in the room.

“That sounds better,” Autrey said when Jones read WMP’s low bid that immediately followed the reading of the $445,392 high bid submitted by Ralph McKnight and Son of Kosciusko.

The WMP bid also stated a completion date within 120 days of the start of construction, which, with one other bidder, was the shortest time of the 13 bids.

The next-to-lowest bidder was C&M Builders of Southaven, who submitted $323,000 as a base bid.

Contractors were asked to submit base bids for construction of the sleeping quarters addition and alternate bids for installing a fire sprinkler system in the existing fire station.

Bids on the alternate ranged from $23,000 to $27,187.

Jones spoke briefly with the WMP Construction representative and then told city officials and firemen that he would make a recommendation by next Tuesday’s board meeting.