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Mission mayor concerned about low bid on $10.56M project

At Monday’s Mission City Council meeting, Mayor Norberto “Beto” Salinas questioned a low bid submitted by Texas Concordia LLC for the Inspiration Road widening project. While the city had estimated the cost of the the Inspiration Road project to be $10.6 million, the low bid submitted by Concordia came in at $6,998,000.

The project scope includes widening of Inspiration Road from Business 83 to the Mile 3 Line. The low amount of the bid had Mayor Beto Salinas wondering why there was such a price variation in the figures the city had calculated and those received from low bidder. The second lowest bid was $8.5 mission, submitted by Foremost Construction. He pointed out there are two intersections with lights that would add to the cost.

City of Mission logoThe city had projected the cost to be $10,582,000, which includes $8,456,000 from federal funding, $1,862,000 from state funding and $253,000 from the city.

“We don’t want to have the same problems we had with the bid on repairs for the Mayberry Service Center where the company who got the bid went broke and it took a year and a half to get the project completed through their insurances,” the mayor said.

After asking if anyone from Concordia was present at the meeting, he said he would like staff to set up a meeting with the company so he could question them further.

After the mayor expressed his doubts, the council approved the lowest bidder because the mayor said it would save the city, the state and federal government $3.3 million dollars, if the company could do the project for the amount of the bid. If the project is completed for the bid price, the city’s portion of the cost will drop to $168,000.

In other action, the council approved a resolution in support of a gated community for senior citizens. Taylor Senior Village, will be located at 1600 N. Taylor Road if approved for state funding. The Village would be gated and comprised of one bedroom/one bath and two bedroom/two bath single story units. The number of units proposed would range from 112 to 126, depending on the number of units approved. All units would have storage rooms, laundry facilities, covered patios, Energy Star kitchens with microwave ovens, ovens, refrigerators and high speed Internet. Cost to rent the units would be tiered based on income.

August De Kock, who owns the property adjoining the site under consideration, said he was not saying he approved or disapproved but had questions. He asked if the units would be Section 8 housing, if there would be increased law enforcement in the area to take care of the units, if families could stay for extended lengths of time and what will this cost the taxpayer.

Lisa Helle answered several questions, saying the cost to taxpayers was $100 to approve the application. Once the project is built and on tax rolls, the owners would pay property taxes like everyone else. There would be no special abatements for the project. Background checks for criminal activities would be performed on everyone allowed to live there, according to Helle.

The mayor said there could be some Section 8 housing because the income levels are to be staggered, but it is a senior citizen project. Senior citizens are not known to cause much trouble, he said.

Virginia Townsend spoke in favor of the project, saying there are not many options for seniors who want to downsize and get rid of their larger homes. After discussion, the council approved Resolution #1430 in support of Taylor Senior Village.

In other action, the council created the Mission Development Advisory Board, which is designed to promote the city’s continued growth. State law allows such boards in municipalities with a population of less than 900,000. Rosalinda Gonzalez, Jerry Saenz, Marisela Marin, Julio Cerda and Rudy Garcia were appointed to the board to serve two-year terms.

Under police business, the council approved accepting an additional $30,000 to add to the Stonegarden Grant. The Mission police are working with the Border Patrol on a project, and the money will be used for overtime.

A Firehouse Subs Safety Grant in the amount of $13,995 was approved. The funds are to purchase bicycle medic equipment and a trailer that can be used to provide first aid in situations where vehicle access is restricted.

The council approved Ordinance 4210, repealing Ordinance 3022, and amending the code of ordinances that called for increased sewer rates for subdivisions outside the city limits. The purpose of this change is to increase growth in the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.

Approval was granted to solicit bids to build a new 2700-square-foot laboratory that would serve both the north and south water treatment plants.

The council approved a resolution authorizing the Texas Coalition for Affordable Power, Inc. to negotiate an extension to the city’s current electric supply contract. The resolution calls for a rate reduction from the current 7 cents per kilowatt-hour to a rate not to exceed 4.25 cents per kilowatt-hour for the coming year.

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