MUNSTER | The Munster Redevelopment Commission recently approved bid proposals for landscaping, electrical work, fencing and dugouts in two ball fields at Community Park.
All bids except the fencing installation were under the cost estimate. Work on the ball fields is scheduled to begin late this month and be completed by early May.
Commissioners, who are members of the Munster Town Council, also approved two change orders for work that needs to be completed prior to construction of the Little League and girls’ softball league ball fields.
The Redevelopment Commission controls the tax increment financing money being used to do major renovations at Community Park. TIF funds can be used for this multi-phased project because it is along Calumet Avenue in the Munster TIF district.
Town Engineer James Mandon is overseeing the park construction and proposed a scaled-back plan the Town Council approved last month.
Mandon said the town will negotiate with the winning bidders. They include
• Beverly Landscaping Inc. of Downers Grove, Ill., for landscaping – $69,243.61
• Pangere Corp. of Gary to build dugouts for the ball fields – $130,984
• Midwestern Electrical of East Chicago – $75,619 and
• Fence Connection of Elgin, Ill. – $125,860.
The estimated cost for fencing was $120,000.
This bid award didn’t include batting cages because, Mandon said, the prices for the system bidders proposed were too high.
“There’s no rush to get the batting cages installed. They can be separate items done in late January or February,” he said.
Danny Jones, president of Fence Masters in Hobart, attended the meeting and voiced objections to the bid award to Fence Connection.
“I’m concerned. I feel that we were the only ones compliant with the bid package. There were a lot of questions and clarifications needed (at the mandatory bid meeting),” Jones said.
“Fence Connection has no attachments to the unions here. I sit on the Ironworkers Board in Chicago,” he said.
Mandon said that Fence Connection pays the prevailing wage and that Jones’ company wasn’t the only one complying with the bid package requirements.
“I don’t think it’s fair,” Jones said as he left the meeting.
If negotiations with Fence Connection don’t work out, Mandon said the second lowest bidder, Fence Masters, would be approached.
The change orders were for Olthoff Inc. of Lynwood and Griffith-based Walsh & Kelly to complete underground work, rough grading of the ball fields and construction of the parking lots.