By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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Primo Construction of Carlsborg, west of Sequim, was the apparent low bidder on a contract to construct a new administration building for the port agency.
The Port awarded the contract to Grant Steel Buildings and Concrete Systems of Port Townsend because staff members said Primo’s bid was “nonresponsive.”
Primo filed a challenge in Jefferson County Superior Court, and on Friday, Judge Keith Harper ruled that the contract was properly awarded and that he intended to deny the challenge.
Harper gave Primo until noon Monday to file an appeal, but over the weekend, Primo’s attorney Adam Lasky contacted the port’s attorney, Carolyn Lake, and said there would be no further challenge, according to Port Director Larry Crockett.
A call to Lasky for comment was not returned Monday morning.
Crockett and Grant Steel Buildings owner Mark Grant signed the contract for the job at 12:01 p.m. Monday and began planning the project, which involves the demolition of an existing Boat Haven building and the construction of a 4,000-square-foot metal structure that will be the headquarters of the port around Sept. 1.
“It will be real close, but I think we have a really good chance of making that date,” Crockett said.
Primo had bid $822,984 to build the structure at the Boat Haven, while Grant bid $839,989, a difference of $17,005.
Port staff stated Primo had failed to include a delivery date for the pre-engineered metal building as part of the bid and did not show five years of experience with metal buildings.
Port staff awarded the bid to Grant on March 15.
In the appeal filed March 19, Primo took issue with these findings, saying the company had provided a schedule as well as noting the required metal-building construction experience.
The port already has leased out its current office at 375 Hudson St. to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife effective Sept. 1, though that department has told the port it plans to move in Sept. 10 because of the Wooden Boat Festival, set Sept. 6-8.
Crockett said he didn’t think the process would adversely affect the port’s future relationship with Primo.
“I fully expect there are other projects in the future that Primo will be qualified for, they will bid for them, and we will give them every consideration.” Crockett said.
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.