Harlem city officials decided at Monday's city council meeting to put a downtown renovation project out for bid a third time.
The city council voted to reject a more than $1.6 million recent bid from a Peachtree City company for improvements to the downtown area.
City officials opened the second round of contractor bids June 1 for the first phase of a streetscape project funded by a Transportation Enhancement grant that the Georgia Department of Transportation awarded to the city in 2003.
The city did not receive any bids the first time they were solicited in April, so city officials advertised for project bidders for another 30 days. On the second try, the city received only one bid.
"It exceeded available funds," said John McClellan, a city engineer with G. Ben Turnipseed Engineers, to the city council at the meeting. "And also doing bid calculations, we came across a mathematical error and we were never comfortable with a one-bid situation, so we are recommending tonight that we rebid the project ..."
The downtown improvements to Louisville Road will go from Forrest Street to Church Street and will include adding an overlay material to preserve sidewalks and adding trash cans, benches, trees and shrubs.
Curbside parking was removed, widening the road enough to accommodate tractor-trailers, and was replaced with a paved lot across from the Harlem Department of Public Safety.
Harlem was approved for the $300,000 Transportation Grant in early 2003, so all of the bid expectations were more than three years old, Dean said, explaining why the one bid was much higher than the $560,000 expected cost.
Mayor Scott Dean said a meeting to discuss the third round of bidding will take place July 6.
For the project, city officials have already committed $560,000, which is a combination of several grants and other funding sources, including a $55,000 USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant, added DOT money for the removed parking spaces and $75,000 of city money, Dean said.
The city was awarded a second grant from the state DOT, totaling $700,000, in January to fund the second phase of the downtown streetscape project that will make Milledgeville Road match Louisville.
City officials will try to have funds from the second phase transferred to fund the first phase. They will then simply reapply for the second phase.
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