County keeps local with road project

TORRINGTON – The Goshen County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously on Tuesday to keep a large road improvement project local. 

The GCC, following the recommendation of the Goshen County Road and Bridge Department, awarded a $122,315.07 contract to Bivens Construction in Torrington. Bivens’ bid was technically the second-lowest, but according to Goshen County Engineer Bob Taylor, there is a lot of upside to using a local contractor. 

“The difference between those two bids is only $1,500.51, or one percent,” Taylor said. “We talked about it for a while – Val (Hankins, GCRB Superintendent) and I, and our crew – there’s a lot of benefits to having a local contractor do this job. For that difference, we think we can have some considerations made here. 

“Bivens is a local contractor. He’s got greater flexibility in his working hours, he’s right here, he can work around some things.”

Six companies bid on the project, and several were well below the county’s $138,000 estimate. The project is a part of the county’s road rehabilitation project, and will fix three problem areas. Taylor said Bivens could be working on the project in as little as two weeks. 

“There are three little projects involved with this,” Taylor said. “One is Road 74E, and there’s one pretty close to that along a county road there, and then there’s a project up in the Dillman Estates.”

One of the deciding factors, Taylor said, was that added flexibility. 

“In the process of bidding this, we said we’d work with them,” Taylor said. “We have the gravel pit in Lingle and we said we’d load their trucks for them. They’ll have to use our big grinder, for the recycled asphalt and gravel.

“We only work four days a week, and we told them there could be potential there that we could work five if we had to work five. With an out-of-town bidder, it’s more likely they will do that. Bivens came to us with a couple of proposals, and one of those was that he wouldn’t work on Fridays.”

Taylor said that gesture alone will save the county around $1,500 in overtime. 

“We think that is something we should consider,” he said. 

In addition to saving on overtime and the convenience, Taylor said a local contractor will also help money stay in the county. 

“The benefit that this community receives, all of the money would be staying in the county,” he said. “We think that is worthwhile, too.”

The motion passed with no argument from the commissioners. GCC Chairman John Ellis said he was supportive of using a local builder. 

“That sounds like a good deal,” Ellis said. “I like to do things locally.”


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