By Ed Martin, Editor
The Lemoore Senior Center
The Lemoore Senior Center

City leaders at their Tuesday, Dec. 6 council meeting took Planning Director Nathan Olson’s advice and rejected a series of bids for the rehabilitation of the Lemoore Senior Center, because the five bids received surpassed the amount budgeted for the long sought-after project.

The City of Lemoore received a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) of $1,419,391 in 2015 to help repair and rehabilitate the 25-year-old senior facility on Lemoore Avenue, adjacent to the Lemoore Little League Complex. The aging facility is in dire need of repairs, and the buildings must be brought up to code. They must also provide long-term cost savings through energy efficiencies.

The allocation from the grant would have been about $1.17 million. Unfortunately, the bids received exceeded that amount.

The lowest bid was Rockeez Engineering’s bid of $1,240,000 and the highest was Sequoia Construction’s $1,580,000. In all there were five bids, all over budget.

“At this time, we would like to reject all bids,” said Olson, who asked councilmembers to forego this round of bidding. “All the quotes that came in for the Senior Center were over the allowable … so per (protocol) we will reject all bids.”

Olson went on to say that he’s ready to take the next step. “We met today with contractors, and we’ll have to go back to the drawing board and rebid the job and then try to get into a fiscally responsive (way) to be able to complete that work.”

Mayor Lois Wynne, in her final council meeting, ask what the next step is. “Do you have a revised timeline in terms in how soon you want to do it. I know we’re anxious to get that started.”

“We are attempting to go back out to bid the week after next,” responded Olson. “We met with the architects today. We have three different routes we’re looking at, and I still need to get in front of the grant board to ask some clarifying questions on some of the alternative options we may have.”

Andi Welsh confirmed that the Senior Center board members will be updated as well. “We’re also going to be working with the Senior Center. They are all aware of the bid opening coming back overbid, so we want to make sure that if we end up changing the scope that we have their feedback as well.”

The overall project needs to be completed by October 31, 2017.