At a brief meeting following the annual town meeting on Monday, March 4, the Stonington selectmen took care of routine business and discussed some bids.
The first order of the meeting was to elect officers of the board of selectmen for the coming year. Re-elected as chairman and vice-chairman were George Stevens and Donna Brewer, respectively.
The overseer of the roads will be Richard Larrabee; overseer of the Transfer Station, Chris Betts; representative to the Airport Committee, Brewer; representative to the Harbor Committee, Stevens; representative to the Island Community Center, Larrabee; representative to the Clam Committee, Brewer; representative to the Stonington Economic Development Committee, Evelyn Duncan; representative to the Colwell Ramp Committee, Duncan; representative to the Microloan Committee, Duncan.
It was the next item on the agenda, the SHIP (Small Harbor Improvement Program) grant bid openings, that took all the time.
Stonington has obtained a $25,000 matching grant to purchase floats and pilings, which means that the total amount available is $50,000, half provided by the grant, half by the town.
There are 15 floats included in the bid: seven at 16x6 feet and eight at 12x6 feet. The bids for the floats ranged from a high of $59,000 to a low of $27,580. Additionally, one bid, right in the middle at $39,000 included delivery and installation. The lowest bid of $27,580 was from Kendall Eaton, who was specified as the builder of the floats for Chesterfield, the $39,000 bidder. Town Manager Kathleen Billings-Pezaris questioned whether the floats could even be built for the bid price.
Selectman Richard Larrabee suggested letting Eaton build the floats, and if they weren’t up to standard, to make him take them back. Billings-Pezaris retorted that Eaton could then sue the town.
Selectman Evelyn Duncan said Eaton had built a lot of floats and presumably knew what he was doing.
The bids on the pilings ranged from a high of $18,900 to $33,500 to a low of $14,200. The top two bids were for the 19 pilings specified; the lowest was for 17 pilings. Even pro rating the cost and adding two more pilings to the 17, that was still the lowest price.
The selectmen decided to think about the bids and have the town manager get more information for them. They will reconsider the bids next week.