Cypress Council discusses contract thresholds

Cypress City Hall. Courtesy photo

Although election frenzy has taken the spotlight for Cypress news in recent weeks, business matters have been operating as usual within the Cypress City Council.

At its last regular council meeting on Oct. 27, a series of contract awards and modifications were approved and pushed off the consent calendar by the council.

Pulled for discussion by Councilmember Frances Marquez were items six and eleven which regarded the bidding process and contract threshold delegated through public works.

Per city code, the threshold for the city manager’s no-bid public works project approval is required to be annually updated based on the ENR index, which measures change of construction and labor costs over time, as discussed in item six.

Since 2008, the threshold for contract awards in Cypress has been $100,000 for public works contracts and $50,000 for professional services related to public works contracts. Due to low index growth and the cities need to reduce staffing costs the threshold has not been modified since.

However, in order to meet the municipal code requirement and account for the 50% of construction cost increase since 2008, the council passed in a 4 to 1 vote to increase the two thresholds by 34%. This raises the threshold of public works contract authorizations to $134,000 for projects and $67,000 to professional services related to projects.

The dissenting vote on the threshold raise came from Councilmember Marquez, raising the notion that more accountability and reporting needs to be done regarding the contracts distributed under the threshold.

“I would just like to see more accountability and reporting within the distribution of the contracts. Because I don’t know if the same three contractors are receiving multiple contracts in one year. And I want to ensure that there’s enough competition and ample opportunity for local contractors to have a shot at a contract,” said Councilmember Marquez.

Meanwhile, Public Works Director Doug Dancs assured Councilmember Marquez that the majority of the projects his department operates on require an open bid process, as they exceed over the $100,000 now $134,000 threshold limit.

In addition, Dancs also noted that only “two maybe three-year max” project contracts fall under the threshold, stating that then, “we would go ahead and use it as a tool in our toolbox, especially with these inflationary times to save money,” said Dancs.

Applicable to the discussion relating to item number eleven, a contract award for Oak Knoll Park parking lot resurfacing, Marquez expressed praised to Dancs and the public works department for their efficient competitive bid process.

The contract bid for the resurfacing project at Oak Knoll Park awarded at the meeting went out to J. B. Bostick Company for $53,000.

“I’m happy to see that you received seven bids. The lowest bidder was $53,000 and the highest bidder was $120,280. By going out to bid, you save the city $67,280 US dollars. I just want to thank you for your hard work.”

Moreover, other business matters relating to contract rewards included an agreement for on-call affordable housing consulting services. The three-year contract service agreement will go to RSG Inc. According to the city website, RSG is highly qualified, with decades of expertise and experience in affordable housing program development, administration, and monitoring, and it has assisted numerous cities, including Murrieta, Santa Ana, Westminster, and El Monte.

Lastly, the council approved plans and specifications for the senior center interior improvement project, with an allocated budget of $500,000 in the general fund. Public Works will solicit bids in November and will bring a recommendation for a construction contract to City Council in February.

The next regular city council meeting will take place on November 14.