Mistake on bid document costs a Riverton contractor a one percent tax project award
(Riverton, Wyo.) – A mistake on a bid submission cost a local contractor a nearly $700,000 one percent optional sales tax job this week. Another local contractor, however, benefited from the omission. The project is the East Fremont Water Line Replacement Project.
With a bid of $679,125, Viper Underground of Riverton was awarded the contract by the city council, after discussion. Viper’s bid was the second lowest, but an omission in the bid packet by Jerry Bornhoft Construction caused his bid to be increased by five percent and it was no longer the lowest bid.
Public Works Director Kyle Butterfield said city staff had reviewed each bid “to assure they were responsive to bid specifications.” That’s when the problem was discovered. A certificate of residency was missing from the Bornhoft bid.
Council member Mike Bailey noted that Bornhoft was a local contractor. “He is obviously a Wyoming company. His bid may have been lacking, but why was five percent added?” he asked.
Butterfield noted that each bidder received the same set of rules and needed to comply with them. He said if a Wyoming Residency certification was not included, a five percent penalty would be added. “The contract and bid documents required that. It is very clear in the bid documents.”
Bornhoft was not the only contractor to have five percent added to its bid. Rocky Mountain Sand and Gravel, LLC, also failed to provide the residency certification. Of the seven bids received, only Bornhoft and Rocky Mountain’s bids failed to include the certificate.
“I’m very pleased with the number of bidders on this project,” Butterfield said. The engineer’s estimate on the project was $742,025. Viper’s low bid came under that amount by by $62,900.
Councilor Sean Peterson said he was pleased that a local project funded by local tax dollars would be going to a local contractor.