Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Low bid on Hernando landfill was goof; bidder wants out

BROOKSVILLE — The low bid for expanding the Hernando County landfill seemed too good to be true. Turns out, it was.

Back in late July, county utilities director Joe Stapf was thrilled that none of the eight companies that bid to build a new cell at the landfill came anywhere near the $9.35 million estimated project cost.

The low bidder was Southeast Environmental Contracting, which submitted a base bid of $5.5 million.

The utilities staff investigated the low bidders to make sure they met the specifications for the project and that they had the qualifications to do the job. During that process, they asked why the company had left nearly $700,000 "on the table'' by underbidding the second low bidder by that amount.

The Southeast president then looked again at his company's bid and discovered that an employee had miscalculated the amount of excavation work needed at the site. That meant that the bid was off by nearly $500,000.

The president told Hernando staff that he would lose money on the job if his company's bid were accepted, and that he would prefer the county move to the second low bidder.

But that is not the plan, according to Stapf and county purchasing director Jim Gantt.

Gantt said the county couldn't ethically renegotiate with the company. Stapf said the county can't let the company drop out of bidding because that impacts the integrity of the bidding process.

County officials don't want to delay the expansion because the existing landfill cell is nearing its capacity. Trucking loads of its residential garbage outside of the county will cost Hernando tens of thousands of dollars.

Stapf and Gantt are considering whether to go ahead and recommend Southeast to the County Commission as the low bidder. If they do that, the company either can try to do the project for the bid amount or simply not do the work.

In that case, the company would be in default on its bid, and the county could take action against the bid bond of Southeast Environmental Contracting.

Hernando then could choose the second lowest bidder, T & K Construction, which bid $6.2 million, and seek to make up some of the cost difference through Southeast's bid bond.

That could return $274,412 to the county, according to Stapf's Wednesday memo to county administration and commissioners. "It is perhaps worth noting that the second low bid amount for the base bid is still well under our engineer's estimate,'' he wrote.

He also noted that the investigation into the bidders was not yet complete and additional revisions might still be necessary before the bid is brought to the commission.

That bid award could come as early at Aug. 25.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at or (352) 848-1434.

Low bid on Hernando landfill was goof; bidder wants out 08/12/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 6:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. James Wilder Jr. back at running Canada


    Remember when former Plant High star and Florida State running back James Wilder Jr. announced he was switching to linebacker?

    That was short-lived, apparently.

  2. Unlicensed contractor accused of faking death triggers policy change at Pinellas construction licensing board

    Local Government

    The unlicensed contractor accused of faking his death to avoid angry homeowners has triggered an immediate change in policy at the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  3. What you need to know for Tuesday, June 27


    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    Former St. Petersburg mayor and current mayoral candidate Rick Baker, left, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman square off tonight in a debate. [Times]
  4. Once 'angry' about Obamacare, Republican David Jolly came to see it as 'safety net'


    Former Congressman David Jolly, who ran against Obamacare in 2013, said in an interview Monday night that he now considers it a "safety net."

  5. Five children hospitalized after chlorine release at Tampa pool store


    Five children were sickened at a pool store north of Tampa on Monday after a cloud of chlorine was released, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.