All five bids Peñitas received to construct a new city hall and police station were over the city’s $3 million budget.
The lowest bid, from Highmark Construction, was about $4.3 million, and the highest, from Foremost Construction, was $5.2 million. Other bids came from J Con Construction, Texas Descon and Col Air Inc., and ranged from $4.4 million to $5 million.
City Secretary Ana Valdez said the city would look at rebidding the project.
In July, the city announced a $3 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for rural development to replace the city’s deteriorating city hall and police department. Currently, city staff and the police department are stuffed into a manufactured building next to the library.
“Safety and justice are two prominent components needed to effectively manage a community and its people,” stated Congressman Henry Cuellar when the loan was awarded. “This construction will undoubtedly provide the City of Peñitas’ City Hall and Police Department with an efficient work environment and necessary amenities required to properly protect and serve their community.”
The planned facilities include a city hall, which will be 11,200 square feet, in a separate building from the police department, planned at 5,640 square feet, with a corridor connecting the two facilities.
“The City of Peñitas has experienced tremendous growth in the last several years and we anticipate the growth to continue. The City Hall and Police Department project is critical to the city so that we can accommodate the additional staff, dispatchers and police officers needed to provide services to our growing community,” said City of Peñitas Mayor Marcos Ochoa.