In one of the most controversial decisions made by the current Price City Council, the group voted four to one Monday morning in a special meeting to accept an original bid to replace the boiler at the swimming complex.
Council member Stephen Denison was the only member to vote against the proposal.
An earlier vote at a regularly scheduled public council meeting last Wednesday was rescinded following more than an hour of discussion as to which way the council should proceed with the pool boiler decision.
On Oct. 9, Price city received two bids for the swimming pool boiler replacement. A committee was appointed at the time to evaluate the bids.
The group, comprised of council members and city employees, met and recommended to the council that Price award the bid to U.S. Mechanical of Pleasant Grove for a low proposal of $189,995.
The committee reviewing the bids came up with five options and, at the regular meeting last Wednesday, the members were looking at the second option which was to approach the low bidder (U.S. Mechanical) and request alternations in design to include the deletion of the redundant systems like one boiler instead of the original two which was proposed, as well as other concerns which related to water heating and piping.
Despite the concern to change items on the bid, a motion was made by Councilwoman Elizabeth Kourianos during the Monday morning meeting for the city to purchase the boiler as per design on the current low bid with no alterations.
At the council meeting this past Wednesday night council member Kourianos reported to the council that the committee met and that the low bid far exceeded the committee's expectations.
Kourianos reminded the council that the purchase is not a budgeted item, but an emergency situation, because of the present failing boiler.
The problem developed last Wednesday when Denison, who was not on the bid committee, asked if the option of re-tubing was considered or if the purchase of a reconditioned boiler that could be bought on the market with warranties that are equal to the new equipment had been explored.
Denison indicated that he had contacted Intermountain Boiler out of Salt Lake City. Although the company had not inspected the system, the representatives from Salt Lake firm anticipated that Intermountain could put in a new boiler and pipe it for $50,000.
Discussion and debate ensued due to the significant difference between the bid of $189,000 and the $50,000 figure mentioned by Denison.
Council member Richard Tatton wondered whether approving the option would be feasible. Tatton asked if other companies, including the two original bidders on the pool boiler, should be given the opportunity to rebid the project. Tatton also asked whether the city should bring Intermountain Boiler to Price to inspect and rebid.
The Salt Lake company was not one of the original bidders on the project.
City Attorney Nick Sampinos cautioned the officials that the council would be running the risk of offending and possibly getting into a legal battle with the two bidders, should Price invite a third partner into the picture.
Sampinos felt the bids should be declined by the council and the city should restart the process in order to keep everything above board.
Councilman Don Reaveley moved to table the agenda item during last Wednesday's public meeting.
Reaveley then suggested that Denison contact the other company for a second opinion and the firm be asked to prepare a report for comparison.
The motion was seconded and passed by a three to two vote, with council members Kourianos and Betty Wheeler opposing the action.
Discussion continued, with Sampinos suggesting that the motion be withdrawn, that the item be tabled and that the council postpone the matter in order to have a chance to think about it.
The officials decided to follow the city attorney's advice and consequently the Monday morning meeting resulted.
The situation situation regarding the repair project started several weeks ago when the current boiler at the community pool failed due to seven tube leaks.
The pool was closed and repairs authorized amounting to $5,000.
The city council then proceeded to discuss the boiler situation and look at alternatives to the problem.
Price city officials had budgeted $60,000 to cover for boiler repairs during the present year.
After the tubes were removed, work crews discovered that the boiler system had sustained substantially more wear and tear than originally thought.
The fact was ascertained by the city's maintenance staff as well as a contracted engineering and maintenance company the city works with.
According to notes from the committee at the meeting to discuss the bids and choose options, it was pointed out that since the loss of the second pool boiler several years ago it has not been possible to bring the current boiler down for inspection and evaluation.
The current boiler has carried the full load for the heating of both pools and the heating of all hot water in the building.
According to the committee the boiler has been well maintained under recent management. This was why the life span that was estimated was more hopeful than what they were able to realize.
Because the seven tubes removed needed repair, the committee speculated that other tubes were in poor shape too. With the approach of winter and freezing conditions, any loss of more tubes would result in closing the pool facility down. This could result in loss of work for pool employees and no place for the high school swim team to practice.
The members of the committee decided to recommend option A, which included an efficient design with redundant systems to keep both pools operating 365 days a year with no down time.
In the end, the council decided to select the recommendation option even though the cost exceeds what the city has set aside for to pay for the project.
However, the Price council indicated that the city is hopeful that a $100,000 Utah Community Impact Board grant will come through to absorb some of the cost associated with replacing the system.