Updated May 28, 2018
ANNA MARIA – After rejecting the first three bids for the demolition of the Anna Maria City Pier due mainly to higher-than-anticipated cost estimates, the mayor and City Commission now have new bids to consider.
A second request for proposals (RFP) was issued with a due date of Friday, May 25, and the latest bid proposals are scheduled for commission discussion on Tuesday, May 29 at 2 p.m.
According to the May 25 bid opening sheet, Speeler & Associates bid $732,000, Sully’s Quality Projects bid $685,530, Shoreline Foundation Inc. bid $642,908, Under Construction Contractors bid $495,000 and Kelly Brothers bid $406,417.
Based on preliminary insight from industry professionals, Mayor Dan Murphy originally estimated it would cost $300,000 to $500,000 to demolish the existing pier so a new pier, restaurant and bait shop can be built and reopened by 2019.
“It was a stake in the ground,” Murphy said of his demolition estimate. “I had to have something to put together the $4.5 million (total estimated pier replacement cost) and I went to as many resources as I could. If it’s the wrong number, I’ve got work to do.”
The three previous proposals discussed on May 18 were Speeler’s bid for $853,000, Sully’s bid for $780,730 and Under Construction’s bid for $289,000. Two other firms responded to the previous RFP but missed the submission deadline. Their bids were returned unopened.
Assisted by city staff, Murphy ranked the first three proposals according to five equally-weighted categories. Speeler ranked highest, followed by Sully’s. Murphy said he didn’t think Under Construction had the necessary experience for this job.
“The problem is $853,000 is too rich for this project. Sully’s is good, but again $780,700 is too rich,” Murphy told the commission on May 18.
That meeting ended with the commission voting 4-1 in support of the mayor’s request to reissue the pier demolition RFP with modified selection criteria. Commissioner Dale Woodland opposed reissuing the RFP because he opposes demolishing the existing pier.
On May 18, Commissioner Brian Seymour noted the initial demolition work would be done by a local contractor, Frank Agnelli, who’s offered to remove and store the engraved pier planks at no cost to the city.
Regarding the issuance of a second RFP, Commission Chair Doug Copeland said, “If they’re all in that same range then you’re pretty well assured that’s what it’s going to cost.”
The revised RFP placed greater weight (30 percent each) on cost and adherence to specifications, maintained the 20 percent weight for skill and experience, gave less weight to references and firm location and added 10 percent for the ability to provide a detailed work plan.
Murphy said the demolition firm’s location is not that important, but it’s crucial that the yet-to-be-named firm that builds the new pier use local labor – “People that are going to live with what they build,” Murphy said.
During the May 18 meeting, Woodland said, “I’m opposed to the entire demolition process for a couple of reasons. We, the mayor and this commission, have not justified the need for the demolition. The only thing it was based on is what I call a false narrative: We all agreed we wanted something that was gonna last a hundred years and that became the entire basis for tearing down the pier and not rebuilding it, which I think was a huge mistake.”
Woodland was referencing the commission’s first meeting with the Ayres Associates design firm in October.
“I think it’s a terrible waste of time and money not rebuilding. So, it doesn’t matter who you select, I’m not going to support them or this process. I really think we’ve been disingenuous to our own residents and the citizens by not justifying the path we’re taking,” Woodland said.
Ayres Associates Vice President Jay Saxena has repeatedly recommended to the commission the construction of a new pier rather than the rehabilitation of the existing pier that was beginning to fail structurally before sustaining additional damage during Hurricane Irma in September.