Four contractors submit city bids for demolition of Phoenix Building

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Four construction companies submitted bids ranging from $263,600 to $387,000 to the city of Hopkinsville for demolition of the condemned Phoenix Building downtown.

Gary Ruebush, the city’s budget officer, opened the sealed bids at 10 a.m. Friday at the Hopkinsville Municipal Center. Mayor James R. Knight Jr., City Attorney Doug Willen, City Councilman Steve Keel and several other city employees were present for the bid opening.

A decision on whether the city will award a contract to one of the companies won’t be determined until officials learn if the property owner has hired a contractor to do the work, said Willen. The deadline for the owners, former Blue Streak Printers proprietor Bobo Cravens and his son Alfred Cravens, to engage a contractor is 4 p.m. Friday.

An agreement for the city and the owners to seek simultaneous bids was reached during a July 13 hearing in Christian Circuit Court. Another hearing in the case is on the court docket for Aug. 2.

Each of the four companies responding to the city’s request for bids submitted a base bid, and three contractors included addendum specific to parts of the demolition, including asbestos abatement.
The bid requirements packet provided to contractors does not mention asbestos, but Ruebush told Hoptown Chronicle that the city will require the chosen contractor to do an asbestos survey of the building, and the contractor must be certified in asbestos abatement. The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet oversees asbestos accreditation. Contractors that are not certified must hire a subcontractor that is certified, Ruebush said.

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that can be removed from rocks and soil. It is used in building materials such as insulation and fire retardants. Exposure to asbestos fibers is linked to lung diseases, including cancer.

The selected contractor must begin work within seven days of the city accepting the bid, and the work must be completed within 30 days of the start. The contract may be extended for circumstances such as inclement weather or other causes beyond control of the contractor or the city, said Ruebush.

The following companies submitted bids:

Heaton Construction, Princeton

Base bid: $377,000
Asbestos removal: $10,000
Total: $387,000

Tiny’s Construction, Demolition and Recycling, Nashville

Base bid: $127,440
Back fill: $101,655
Asbestos survey: $3,750
Furniture, fixtures and equipment disposal: $25,000
Asbestos removal: $85,000
Total: $342,845

East Construction, Hopkinsville

Base bid: $225,000
Fill basement: $28,950
Asbestos removal: $21,900
Total: $275,850

Environmental Abatement, Hendersonville, Tennessee

Base and total bid: $263,600

“The price and evidence of adequate manpower and equipment will be the primary bases for evaluating the bids,” the bid packet states.

It also states that the bids will be evaluated based on ratios assigned to three key points: price (50%), conformance with minimum specifications (45%) and local vendor (5%).

Ruebush said the city will be contacting Environmental Abatement to determine if the company included certain portions of the work, including asbestos abatement, in the base bid.

The Phoenix, standing at the symbolic center of Hopkinsville, will be the third historic building demolished in the center of downtown since Knight took office in January pledging the clean up the city.

City council voted on Feb. 16 to pay East Construction $388,110 to demolish two condemned buildings — Holland Opera House and Lee’s Game Room — on South Main Street, adjacent to the Phoenix.

The demolition was completed in March. The contract bypassed a competitive bid process because the council approved the demolition through an emergency declaration, stating the buildings presented a hazardous threat to the public.

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