Diakonia Project Bid Questioned

SNOW HILL –  Repairs at Diakonia will move forward in spite of concerns regarding the selected bid.

On Tuesday, the Worcester County Commissioners approved roofing and siding bids from Robert’s Coastal Construction as part of Diakonia renovations being funded through a Community Development Block Grant. While they approved the bids, the commissioners expressed concern about the low price quoted.

“If you all feel comfortable with it, it is what it is,” Commissioner Joe Mitrecic said. “I would just hate to get in the middle of it and find out that it’s going wrong.”

County staff presented the commissioners with three bids for roofing and siding at Diakonia. Mitrecic was quick to point out the disparity between the roofing bids. Robert’s Coastal Construction submitted a $11,200 bid for roofing, while East Coast Contracting’s bid was $26,527 and Spicer Brothers’ bid was $46,630.

“When I see numbers this different, it raises some eyebrows to me,” he said.

Kim Reynolds, the county’s senior budget accountant, said she’d met with Mike Diffendal, a member of Diakonia’s board of directors, and he’d contacted Robert’s Coastal Construction to ensure the bid was complete.

Commissioner Jim Bunting said he had the same questions Mitrecic had regarding the low bid. He pointed out that some line items in the bid were listed as to-be-determined.

Allyson Bernard-Church, chair of Diakonia’s board of directors, said Diffendal was overseeing the project and had spoken to the low bidder extensively.

“Mike is on the job every day watching it as it happens and so am I and I have background in real estate and construction as well,” she said. “We will watch it really closely because of your concerns.”

Commissioner Ted Elder said he was worried about the quality of material that would be used.

“Spicer Brothers has an excellent reputation and they use the top of the line material that really holds up a long time,” he said. “I just wonder if we’re getting something on there that’s not going to hold up.”

Bernard-Church assured him the issue had been addressed.

“We had the same questions and have grilled them,” she said.

Mitrecic added that the company hadn’t named a brand of shingle in its bid.

“I don’t have a problem going back and asking questions and reconfirming,” Bernard-Church said.

The commissioners voted 6-0, with Commissioner Bud Church abstaining, to accept the roofing and siding bids from Robert’s Coastal Construction.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.