Issue put to rest; CVWD chooses contractor

By Brandon HENSLEY

The Crescenta Valley Water District’s board meeting on Tuesday picked up where it left off last month, as the board completed voting on a decision regarding two bidders for an upcoming project.
In April, CVWD rejected Downs Electric, Inc. as the lowest bidder to work on replacing an electric motor control center at Eagle Canyons Reservoir, and instead wanted to go with the next lowest bidder, A&B Electric.
According to CVWD, Downs Electric did not meet the standards required in the contract, which included comparable project experience, subcontractor information, and equipment and material submittal. There was also an issue of Downs Electric not providing suitable references.
David Downs was on hand to talk to the board last meeting, and the issue was rescheduled for Tuesday. Downs was again in attendance, but this time, the matter was put to rest. The board voted to go with A&B at a cost of $162,100.36. That bid is $300 higher than what Downs Electric bid.
“The key issue really comes down to the whether the lowest bidder actually shows it has the experience,” said director James Bodnar. “I think that [the CV] staff basically set up a criteria that says ‘By comparable projects in the last three years,’ and in my  mind when you look through the amounts and the listing, you really only have about two projects that appears on its face, that are comparable in size.”
The board also announced it will move one of its employees into a different job title. Natalie Bellissimo, who had been a customer service representative, will be made water conservation specialist. Bellissimo has been working in that department for a while, and the board felt it was necessary to move her over there.
“I know having worked personally with her, being around when she’s working with people or talking about doing that job, she’s great at it,” said board President Kathy Ross.  “She’s a great asset for the District.”
In his district engineer’s report, David Gould said water usage for April was down 28 percent from last year, and 27.6 percent less than the five-year average. Most of that may have been due to a pipeline that was worked on in Altadena, in which CV urged its customers to conserve water over a two-week span.
The next meeting is scheduled for May 25.

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