Bidder probes cemetery contract
DUBLIN — The renovation of the walls at the Dublin Cemetery has caused controversy among some residents.
At Monday’s Select Board meeting, resident Jim Rodriguez, a contractor, expressed concern regarding the bidding process for the improvements at the cemetery. He asked the Select Board to establish a policy that would ensure the process is “fair and transparent” in the future.
“I am a taxpayer here. This is public money we are talking about, not private money, and I would like to know how it is handled and what was the process that was followed to give [the cemetery] contract,” Rodriguez said during the Select Board meeting Monday.
The renovation contract was awarded to Dave Quincy of Harrisville, who bid $8,000, the value established for the project in a warrant article that voters approved at the polls in March.
According to Cemetery Committee Trustee Loring Catlin Jr., the committee held public meetings prior to awarding the contract and received two bids: one from Quincy and one from Rodriguez.
Rodriguez said he offered to do the job for $7,750, however, he said he didn’t get any formal specifications on what the proposal should include.
Rodriguez said he walked through the cemetery with Henry Campbell, the cemetery superintendent and was told what the project was about, but was never officially contacted by the Cemetery Committee trustees.
“I measured the walls myself and came out with the bid.” Rodriguez said.
Caitlin said in an interview Wednesday that he believes the committee followed the proper procedure to award the bid.
“If Mr. Rodriguez had any questions about the bid, he could have asked us at any point,” Catlin said.
Select Board Chairman Sterling Abram said at the meeting Monday that town officials try to create business opportunities for local contractors, however, he stated they encourage bidders to “use imagination, provide details, and come out with interesting proposals,” in order to get a contract.
“That could make a huge difference when it comes to awarding the bid,” Abram said.
Currently, the committee has not established a deadline for Quincy to finish rebuilding the walls.
“The work is now in hands of the contractor. I am not aware of what his dates are. The cemetery trustees had predicted it would not take long, that the contractor could get his best work done in a time that is convenient for him,” Catlin said.
Karina Barriga Albring can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s on Twitter as @kbarrigaalbring.