Developing a Holly Hobby
Getting to the bottom of the bid-price drop
City Council has yet to name a contractor to demolish the Holly Street Power Plant, but a May 10 work session may clear up nagging questions about city staff's two-time selection of TRC Environmental Corp. At the work session, TRC reps will try to explain why they submitted wildly different prices in two separate bid solicitations for the project. TRC first said it could do the job for $24.9 million, then dropped its price to $11.5 million when the city rebid the project. City staff chose TRC after each bid evaluation, raising curiosity about staff's selection process. Assistant City Manager Rudy Garza acknowledged that in the first bid process, the staff fashioned an overambitious evaluation matrix that was less mindful of cost and more attentive to the needs of the East Austin neighborhood surrounding the plant. "We got a little too complicated and a little too fancy," Garza told council last week. As TRC has previously noted, market forces and a revised matrix adding more weight to price created an opportunity for the firm to reduce its price by more than half. The council is slated to consider the Holly matter for a possible vote at its regular meeting May 12.
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