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Few details emerge on Carnegie bid rejection

POSTED August 14, 2009 10:36 p.m.
The City of Turlock formally addressed the rejection of all Carnegie Arts Center reconstruction bids in a press release distributed on Thursday afternoon, but offered little new information on the sudden move to delay the project.
The Turlock City Council met in closed session Tuesday evening to discuss threatened litigation pertaining to bids received for the reconstruction of the burned Carnegie Arts Center.
According to the press release, in that closed session the city council provided direction to City Attorney Phaedra Norton to take the action necessary to reject all bids at the next meeting of the city council. That meeting is set to occur on Aug. 25.
Additionally, the press release revealed that in a separate closed session discussion the city council provided direction regarding the lease price and terms of payment for the operation and maintenance of the Carnegie.
No further details were available, as all closed session discussions are confidential and sealed.
City Manager Roy Wasden stated before the closed session that three bid protests were filed for reasons he was not legally permitted to reveal.
On June 15, the City of Turlock received 15 bids for the estimated $7.7 million reconstruction of the Carnegie, the highest of which came in will below projections at $6.2 million. Applegate Johnston, Inc., of Modesto submitted the low bid of $5.3 million.
Following the pending rejection of all bids, the project is expected to be sent back out to bid. The bidding process should take between six to eight weeks, and could result in a higher overall cost should the construction market recover.
“It’s still going to happen,” Mayor John Lazar said. “We just have to make sure we do this right.”
To contact Alex Cantatore, e-mail acantatore@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2005.

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