Kates: I never asked for N. Roosevelt bid

Published 7:11 am Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Dear Editor,

In the Bogalusa Daily News article headlined, “City: No bids for North Roosevelt,” published in the Sept 24, 2016, edition, it was written: “Bogalusa City Council member Gloria Kates argues that state law indicates governments do not have to get bids for projects that are less than $150,000. She said her resolution only obligates the city to informally shop around for a good deal.”

I would like to clarify what was said. On Sept. 20, the Resolution was introduced to obtain estimated prices to overlay the 1400-1500 block of North Roosevelt Street (beginning at Bayer and North Roosevelt and ending at Lindsey and North Roosevelt) according to the Public Bid Laws guidelines. Numerous verbal estimates were given for this project ranging from $4,800 to $32,000 below the current threshold/contract limit for public works, therefore, never was there an intention to obtain public bids according to the Public Bid Laws. The resolution presented was a request for the city to simply to obtain a documented estimate of cost for the project.

The Public Works department is governed by Louisiana Public Bid Law RS 38:2212 — “Advertisement and letting to lowest responsible and responsive bidder; public work; electronic bidding; participation in mentor-protégé program; exemptions. A. (1) All public work exceeding the contract limit as defined in this Section, including labor and materials, to be done by a public entity shall be advertised and let by contract to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder who had bid according to the bidding documents as advertised, and no such public work shall be done except as provided in this Part. RS 38:2212 (N) Those contracts let by any public entity for public works estimated to cost in excess of the contract limit shall be advertised and let by contract to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder. Public works which are estimated to cost less than the contract limit may be undertaken by the public entity with its own employees.”

According to the 2016 Public Bid Law update, the OFPC (Office of Facilities Planning and Control) has published in the January 2016 Louisiana Register that “the contract limit for public works contracts is now $152,400.” These laws were discussed with our city attorney as part of the research.

On the comments of “not having the money,” the status of the city’s recent Account Summaries for Street Improvements were discussed during the meeting and perhaps fund activities should be tracked by a higher jurisdiction.

Discussion also included: the 21-month timeline pertaining to the overlay of North Roosevelt; survey findings concerning safety, liability, and quality of life in the affected areas; citizens requesting overlay as in all neighborhoods in Bogalusa; the Aug. 26, 2015, Public Work Order comment “overlaying the street when out of the red;” Red Cross Lane with the three shot road process without residents compared to North Roosevelt with residents; and a review of the Bogalusa charter Section 01-06 Special Powers and the Louisiana State Constitution of 1974 addressing our responsibility to promote, protect and preserve the general welfare, safety, heath, peace, and good order of the city. Finally, as during council discussion, I would like to stress the importance of safety and liability as it pertains to our city, as well as the concern of the 1400-1500 block of North Roosevelt Street.

We have to work together in our community in order to establish and ultimately result in a whole community.

Gloria Kates

Bogalusa City Council member, District A