The matter came about when one of three qualified bidders on the Pandora project, Aslan Construction, Inc. of Berthoud, Colo., filed an appeal objecting to how the town determined the lowest responsive, responsible and qualified bidder on the project.
In the course of the award process the town determined that access road work previously included in the original bid documents was unnecessary. As a result it removed the cost of that line item from each of the bids it received. In doing so Southwest Contracting of Cortez, Colo. emerged as the lowest bidder and was awarded the contract.
Aslan took issue with the town’s method, countering that if the access road had remained in the work scope it would have been the lowest bidder, and that the town had an obligation to award it the contract.
It also suggested that the town had negotiated a lower price to the contract with Southwest subsequent to the submission of competitive bids and contrary to accepted practices.
The town maintained that it was within its rights to remove the access road item prior to determining the lowest bidder, and that its procurement code allows for the consideration of elements in addition to cost in the award process.
Council directed the Town Attorney to draft a resolution for approval at its next meeting on Dec. 7 reflecting its findings.
“We work very hard at making sure we treat all contractors very fairly and I believe that we dealt with this bidding process with great care,” said Mayor Stu Fraser.
Following the hearing Aslan President and Chief Estimator Michael Pelphrey said that while he believed that council had been honest in its deliberations, he felt that it did not have a good understanding of standard practices in the contracting process.
He was uncertain whether he would take further legal action against the town as provided for in the appeals process.
“We are going to consider what our options are,” he said. “We’ll sleep on it and go from there.”
Residential Rental Guidelines Shored Up on Second Reading
Council approved the second reading of an ordinance in a 6-0 vote on Tuesday that clarifies rental restrictions in the town’s residential districts but does little to relax them as initially recommended by the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
Although the P&Z recommended loosening the existing residential short-term (between one and 29 days) rental restrictions from a maximum of 30 total days of over three separate rentals during a 12-month period to a maximum of 45 days over an unlimited number of rentals, council decreased the allowable number of short-term rentals to a maximum of 29 days and retained the limit of three occasions in a calendar year.
Long-term rentals, previously defined as six months or longer, are redefined by the ordinance as anything over 30 days, and are also limited to three separate occasions in a calendar year.
An on-call owner’s representative must be identified to the town and accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week for matters concerning short-term rentals, and owners or their agents must make short-term rental tenants aware of town ordinances concerning pets, trash, recycling, bears, noise, parking and other relevant laws, according to the new ordinance.
Finally, short-term rental owners will be required to file a yearly affidavit attesting to their rental activities.
Describing the process of revising the residential rental regulations as arduous, “We’re anxious to see this policy matter come to closure,” said Town Manager Greg Clifton.
The new policy will be reviewed annually.
Buy Local Resolution Approved
In line with its goal to help improve the local economy, council voted 6-0 to pass a resolution supporting the “Buy Local” campaign sweeping the community. The resolution directs the town to review its purchasing policies with a preference to buy locally, where feasible; promote the campaign on its website, in town buildings and on its collateral, when feasible; encourage its grant recipients to buy local; to support The New Community Coalition in its efforts to prioritize and lead the campaign; and to prioritize hiring from the local region.
According to the text of the resolution, if every person in the Telluride region took one less trip from Telluride to Montrose for shopping errands per month, the region would save 3,500 tons of carbon and 4,751 barrels of oil per year.