After a lengthy debate at the end of Wednesday night's meeting, the council approved a bid award for the Bellevue Avenue Concrete Restoration 5-1, with Council Kate Leonard opposing.
Councilor Jeanne Marie Napolitano was absent from Wednesday night's meeting.
Leonard opposed awarding the bid on Wednesday because she said she would like to ensure that “repairs that are being suggested are fully understood. . .and why the failure has occurred.” Leonard was referring the last repairs made to fix the joints on Bellevue Avenue.
She said she would like to see the bid award continued until the next meeting to allow further analysis on the current bid and reasons for the shortcomings in past projects.
“It wasn't long ago that taxpayers paid almost half a million dollars. . .Shortly after the roads began to decompose,” she said. “Now we're paying. . .to go back and do the work again.”
“We need to really protect taxpayer dollars and we need to spend our money wisely.”
In a letter to the council, City Manager Jane Howington recommended awarding the contract to Aetna Bridge Company, a Pawtucket based company, for a total amount of $394,756.25, as well as an estimated $34,000 for police details to be paid for by the city.
The total project cost is estimated to be $428,756.
Council Justin McLaughlin said that he was confident in the city administration's recommendation to award the bid, and that a continuation would be detrimental to the project's schedule.
“We're putting off an important initiative for three weeks, so it's five weeks before it can actually start,” he said.
Councilor Charles Duncan agreed, saying a continuation would just “rehash history.”
Improvements include patching and sealing joints as well as utility structure adjustments.
Work is scheduled to begin within two weeks.