Pier repair bids awarded

MOUNT DESERT — L.E. Norwood Masonry was awarded three contracts for repairs to piers in Northeast Harbor at the regular selectmen’s meeting Monday evening.

Officials awarded the Bar Harbor firm a $9,400 contract for resurfacing of the concrete deck of the main pier. Harbormaster John Lemoine explained that previous attempts to patch holes in the concrete have not been successful. The work this time will involve enlarging the holes and inserting steel pins to hold the new material.

Another $5,450 contract was awarded to Norwood for repairs to concrete on the underside of the pier.

A third contract was awarded in the amount of $3,700 to repair a concrete walkway on the north pier concrete walkway bridge.

In response to a question from Selectman Rick Mooers, Lemoine explained that a need to get the work done quickly before the busy summer season resulted in a less formal selection process. Mooers asked why all the work had been awarded to just one contractor and why there weren’t multiple offers for the town to consider. He added that the town’s official purchasing policy requires getting three bids on items ranging in cost from $5,000 to $10,000.

Lemoine has authority to have projects costing up to $5,000 done without a formal bid process.

“The town manager wanted me to put a rush on it and get it done before the season,” Lemoine said. He explained that he asked several local contractors to get prices to him before information had to be submitted for the selectmen’s agenda. “The only vendor that could get me their numbers in that time frame was Norwood,” Lemoine said.

Mooers also asked why all three projects were not wrapped into one bidding package. Lemoine assured him that the projects, while all involving masonry, were different jobs and could have been awarded to separate contractors.

In the three line-item votes on the matter, Chairman John Maccauley and Selectmen Matt Hart, Wendy Littlefield and Martha Dudman voted “aye.” McCauley didn’t ask for any “nays,” so none were recorded. When the secretary asked Mooers if he had abstained, he said “had a ‘nay’ vote been asked for, I would have raised my hand.”

In other waterfront business, the board approved a request to sell retired floats and a ramp from the town pier in Seal Harbor by bid. The surplus units include a pair of 20-by-20-foot floats and an aluminum ramp that is 23 feet long and 4 feet wide.

Lemoine said that the floats are currently being stored on a mooring in Northeast Harbor and that prospective bidders can contact him if they would like to inspect them.

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