Green River Star -

By David Martin
Editor 

Lincoln development questioned

 

March 21, 2018



The Green River City Council debated if it should reject a bid award for Tracts B and C of the former Lincoln High School property and rebid the land.

According to Laura Leigh, director of community development, a draft purchase agreement was sent to the sole bidders for the project, New Peak Construction, at the end of November. She said New Peak later asked questions about the if the zoning would allow anything beyond single-family homes in the area, as well as regarding timeline to develop infrastructure to the tracts.

The tracts are zoned R-2, which are only open to single-family dwellings and parks. Any changes to that would require the land to be rezoned.

She also said New Peak requested 36 months for utilities and street construction and requested permission to phase construction. Leigh said the original documents New Peak placed its bid on specified a 24-month deadline and a request that the work get completed in a single phase of construction.

Leigh said the city sent the developers a lengthy response after receiving a red-lined purchase agreement from New Peak with the requested changes made. The city has not signed that agreement and is waiting for a response from New Peak.

“We were very clear in the bid documents it would be a single-phase development,” Leigh said.

The 24-month deadline in the bid document is a city ordinance, according to Leigh. The language requiring the project to be completed in a single phase is not.

The issue the city faces, according to Green River city attorney Galen West, is the request is a significant alternation to the original bid documents. The changes New Peak requested, according to West, may have been issued with the original bid documents that prevented other developers from making bids.

“There well could be other parties that would have submitted a bid,” he said.

The Council can decide to reject the bid and redraft and rebid the land. Councilman Allan Wilson said he thinks the city should reject the bid if they don’t hear from the company by the Council’s April 3 meeting. Councilman Tom Murphy agreed with Wilson, though Councilman Robert Berg thinks New Peak should have more time to respond. Councilman Ted Barney said he was ready to reject the bid immediately.

“What part of single-family did you not understand and what part of 24 months did you not understand,” he asked.

Councilman Gary Killpack, who is the father of New Peak founders Jared and Joe Killpack, asked if the regulations were restrictive to contractors wanting to build homes in Green River, saying the city hasn’t had a lot of success with contractors wanting to build in the city.

Leigh said the requirement for contractors to build utilities and roads for their subdivisions hasn’t been an obstacle for other contractors. She said contractors are often able to complete that requirement within a year. West said the bid documents have to have the 24-month deadline for utilities because it’s part of the city’s development ordinances.

“When bidding something, you can’t bid something contrary to your own law,” West said.

Killpack questioned the ordinance, saying it might be something the city should change in the future. He also said some cities provide the utility and road construction for planned subdivisions. Leigh said the community development office is looking possible changes to its ordinances.

Other business

The city council accepted a $95,000 donation from Andeavor, formerly Tesoro Corporation. According to Green River Fire Chief Mike Nomis, the money will go towards building a hazardous materials spill response trailer for the fire department. He said the department has depleted its hazardous materials containment equipment during the past few years and needed a new trailer. He said the department is pricing materials out, but the spill containment equipment they’re looking at will allow the fire department to deal with spills in the river and on land.

“It will allow us to be versatile,” Nomis said.

The Council also approved a new contract with city administrator Reed Clevenger. The Council recessed into an executive session to discuss the contract before reconvening to approve it publicly. The contract will need to be signed by both Clevenger and Mayor Pete Rust before it takes effect.

 

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