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Medina Council drops contractor's bid after rival's lawsuit

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    Ella Canavan Elementary School is honored at Mondays Medina Council meeting for winning the Medina County Police Athletic League boys basketball championship recently. From left, Canavan Principal Brian Condit; Councilman Jim Shields, coach of the winning team; Medina Police Chief Ed Kinney; Montville Police Chief Terry Grice and the championship team were on hand.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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MEDINA — After a Pennsylvania company filed suit against the city of Medina in federal court to protest the bid process related to the parking deck project, City Council decided Monday night to reject all bids pertaining to the project.

Council accepted the bid of Ruhlin Construction, of Sharon Township, on April 8 to handle construction of the deck next to city hall.

One of the finalists, CPS Construction Group, of Chester, Pennsylvania, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against the city roughly a week later.

CPS had the lowest bid at $3.68 million and had the highest score in the city’s evaluation process.

Yet, Council’s finance committee passed over CPS in the design-build project in favor of Ruhlin, largely because of the red-brick look Ruhlin included in its proposal. Ruhlin’s bid was $3.8 million.

The lawsuit said Ruhlin’s design was different from the one the city solicited and didn’t follow the bid process rules.

CPS is also seeking an injunction prohibiting Medina from awarding the contract to Ruhlin, negotiating or paying the Sharon company.

The construction company is seeking $75,000 in injunctive relief and bid preparation costs.

Law Director Greg Huber and Council met in executive session for 90 minutes Monday during the Finance Committee meeting. Mayor Dennis Hanwell said it was to discuss the lawsuit.

“We’re going to reset and re-engage the discussion that has occurred thus far,” Huber said. “For that reason, we have to reject the (bid).”

Council approved the resolution to cancel the bids with an emergency clause.

“We are under time restraint and we have a grant that has a time limit on it,” Huber said.

The city will rebid the project, a process that is expected to take about four weeks. Medina had hoped to break ground in mid-May and have the parking deck finished by December.

Hanwell said it now might not be finished until 2020.

The deck, which will be located next to city hall, will add about 200 parking spots to the area of North Elmwood Avenue.

Desman Design Management was the city’s criteria developer for the project. It recommended CPS, largely because of its budget price, City Engineer Pat Patton said.

The city received a $1 million grant from the state to build the deck, which will be deducted from the $3.8 million.

Council will discuss the project further at a special meeting before a budget meeting Wednesday.

In other news

  • The Medina Police Department will apply for a grant of $142,802 from the Medina County Drug Advisory Committee. The funds will cover the cost of the city’s K-9 program, Police Chief Ed Kinney said. The program will help with narcotics enforcement. The deadline to apply for the grant is May 3.
  • The city will begin painting the inside of water tanks in the city. Service Director Nino Piccoli said it costs about $450,000 to paint one tank.
  • The Medina Community Recreation Center will increase the pay of its lifeguards from $8.55 to $9.46 per hour. Director Mike Wright said he hopes that will help them find and retain lifeguards, who are needed.
  • Kathy Patton, council clerk, was honored by City Council ahead of May 5-11’s Municipal Clerks Week.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.


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