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Keokuk Wants More Bids

Keokuk, IA – The Keokuk City Council wants to make sure it knows what the city is spending on certain projects or purchases. The council used part of its Oct. 1 workshop to review the engineering fees for the reconstruction of Belknap Road, Belknap Place, and Timea Street.

Public Works Director Gerald Moughler says the estimated cost of the three projects was about $1-million. He says the bid from Shoemaker & Halland Professional Engineers was around $70,000.

Moughler says the city decided to expand the projects, pushing the construction costs to around $1.5-million. That bumped the price for the engineering work to about $120,000.

Finance Sub-Committee Chairman Doug Matlick said the city had received more than $160,000 in bills from Shoemaker & Halland for the project. Representatives of the firm told the council the additional $40,000+ was related to a separate contract for additional work on the projects.

At that point, it was revealed by Moughler that bids were not accepted for the additional contract. Matlick says that should not happen.

"Sometimes you might think it is cheaper if you have someone already on the job," says Matlick, "but it doesn't hurt to get bids, to make it competitive, to make sure we get the best price."

The city apparently has a resolution requiring bids for certain projects. It has not been located, though, so it is unclear what the threshold is. Several council members want the threshold to be determined, reviewed, and enforced.