By Robert Nathan

Killeen Daily Herald

Expediting a bid for three street renovation projects in Killeen hit a roadblock Tuesday when the City Council decided to table the matter until a later meeting to discuss whether the bid issuance would satisfy the city's purchasing policy.

During a morning Transportation Committee meeting and at the afternoon pre-council workshop, questions were raised as to whether the council should award the major project to a local contractor at a slightly higher price or to a Gatesville contractor at a lower price to undertake the construction of Cody Poe Road and Edgefield Street, Robinett Road and the Elms Road improvement projects.

Gary W. Purser Construction, Ltd., a Killeen-based company, placed a $6.73 million bid to undertake the project. Its bid was $137,000 more than TTG Utilities, LP out of Gatesville.

City Manager Connie Green said that in order to award the bid under the local bidder preference, the council must find in writing that the local bidder offers the municipality the best combination of contract price and additional economic development opportunities for the city created by the contractor, including the employment of residents in the municipality and increased tax revenues.

Council members said they would need to discuss further which bid issuance would be in the best interest of the city.

Gary Purser Jr. told the council during the pre-council workshop that his firm has the opportunity to meet the local requirements. He said he would need to hire additional employees and purchase additional equipment for the project.

Purser's attorney, Burk Roberts, said his client's business has a history of providing economic incentives for the city of Killeen.

If Purser's firm is awarded the bid during a November meeting, he would have to show he would generate more than $137,000 revenue for the city.

"This job here would allow us to continue our efforts to develop the city of Killeen and bring agriculture land into the city with a tax base the city would have additional economic opportunities with," Purser said.

Attorney Dan Corbin represented the Gatesville company at the pre-council workshop and suggested the city take a closer look at what circumstances a city can award a bid to someone else other than the lowest bidder. He said the local bidder would have to show proof they will generate more than the $137,000 in revenue.

Public Works Director Jim Butler said the bidder prices would be held for 60 days, effectively keeping the bidding prices from changing.

In other business, the council discussed the project for the construction and design of the new police headquarters.

During the Oct. 3 meeting, the council settled ongoing public speculation of where the new 87,000 square-foot police headquarters will be located with their approval of a resolution authorizing the purchase of 30 acres of land on Featherline Road in south Killeen.

Voters approved the plans for the new police headquarters in 2002, but the location was not determined. Before the council approved the 2006-07 fiscal year budget last month, it decided to put the construction of the new police headquarters on a fast-track schedule.

The council received a presentation from the PSA Dewberry consulting firm regarding options for building and designing the police headquarters on a fast-track schedule. The council is weighing a design-build method or a construction manager-at-risk method to expedite the process

Assistant Police Chief Larry Longwell said the police department recommends the construction manager-at-risk concept.

Council members said the construction manager-at-risk option would be ideal because it would get the project under way quicker and give the city more involvement in the design phase.

During its regular meeting the council approved:

n a resolution approving procurement of communication and video detection equipment through the TBPC State Cooperative for Streets Division. The signals will monitor several street intersections. Video detection provides a finer and more adaptive means to controlling green lights at traffic intersections to ease the flow of traffic whenever possible.

n purchase of property for the construction of Fire Station No. 8 in southeast Killeen on East Trimmier. It could become operational close to Jan. 1, 2008.

n an ordinance granting a taxicab franchise for Harker Heights Taxi to operate a taxicab service in Killeen.

Contact Robert Nathan at

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