By ZEINAB NAJM
HEIGHTS — The City Council addressed two proposed structural improvements to City Hall during its July 13 meeting. A bid award for a council chambers renovation project was approved and a resolution was passed for the administration to request bids for roof replacement.
Councilman Ray Muscat made the motion to refer the Freedom Contracting proposal for a silicone roof system to seek bids but with an expedited time frame.
The motion was a result of a discussion on if the city needed to complete the traditional bidding process to be in compliant with the city charter. With the city council’s next meeting scheduled for July 27, the time frame for the bid was adjusted so a bid can possibly be brought before the council.
A proposal from Freedom Contracting was brought forward at the meeting, but questions surrounded the process used to receive the bid and its compliance with the charter. The proposal was for $196,250 compared to a previous $288,500 contract for a savings of $92,250.
Last December then-Mayor Daniel Paletko brought the previous proposal from Advanced Roofing, which the council approved but was never signed.
Following Paletko’s death, Mayor Bill Bazzi reviewed the contract, and thought it was vaguely written.
The city hall roof most recently leaked following rainfall on June 25 and flooding the next day throughout Dearborn Heights. Water leaked into the city clerk’s and treasurer’s offices; City Clerk Lynne Senia covered items in the office with plastic sheeting.
Repairs to the roof are being made while the city seeks bids for a new system which should fix the front half of the roof, which is in bad shape.
For the council chambers project, of the four bids submitted to the comptroller’s office, the lowest bid was awarded to Barnett Construction Services at $364,365.
The project will make the council chambers Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant and to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 guidelines of six feet of separation.
Plans call for a redesigned table of the council for social distancing, partitions between each council member and technical improvements for mounted cameras. Residents also will have the option to live stream meetings and call in on Zoom for public comment where their faces will be shown on video inside the council chambers with the ability to interact with the city council.
Acting DPW Director Ali Dib said the project will bring the chambers back to compliance and that the contract consists of the design and construction of the improvements.
Approximately $85,000 of the cost is for technology improvements which are challenges now with the current setup in the chambers.
Councilman Dave Abdallah asked about money being spent in relation with the CDC guidelines aspect of the project since the pandemic is on the decline.
Dib said equipment is designed to be portable if the city government relocates. He also said the size of the council chambers will remain the same, with no planned expansion.
The design process for the project will take 30 days and then not to exceed 90 days for construction. Dib said the biggest challenge will be getting material in the current environment.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected])