On January 30, 2019, Bellaire’s City engineer James Andrews of ARKK Engineers recommended a company new to Bellaire, A Status Construction, LLC, as qualified to run several construction projects funded by the 2016 bond issue, including the $2.5 million Spruce/Fifth St project. The question is why, based on what information? I reported in an earlier post that City Council approved three contracts for A Status Construction, LLC totaling over $6.5 million, even though the references provided in the agenda packet were for another company, Jimerson Underground. No references were provided for A Status Construction.
So what? Well, less than two years earlier a memo dated May 4, 2017, (at left) from a Pearland project manager advised Pearland City personnel that ARKK Engineers did not recommend A Status Construction for a road construction project, even though A Status submitted the low bid.
The ARKK engineer for Pearland, Madhu Kilambi, stated the “company had not demonstrated a history of experience in roadway and drainage projects of this complexity”, and that the contractor’s actual role and level of effort in reference projects were not as represented by A Status Construction.
One reference provided by A Status Construction had responded that the company was not involved in any of the three projects they listed as relevant projects. Please, read this Letter from the ARKK engineer to the City of Pearland.
However less than two years later Mr. Andrews found A Status Construction to be fully qualified, and he had no problem recommending them for $6.5 million dollars of City of Bellaire projects, including the complex street and drainage reconstruction along Spruce and Ffith. The City’s call for bids required a minimum of at least 10 references for projects of a similar nature. This begs the question, did he even check their references? View his recommendation at right.
While it is unlikely that members of City Council were aware of the Pearland memo, they were aware of the lack of references. Rather than postponing the vote, requesting proper references, and requiring more information from Mr. Andrews, every Council member except Pat McLaughlan voted to approve the contract
Drive by the H-E-B, take a look at the construction site for Spruce and Fifth, and see why experience and references matter.
One more thing. The contract for construction management for these projects was awarded to ARKK. To date ARKK Engineers has received over $2.5 million in contracts for projects from the 2016 Bonds for Better Bellaire projects.
Bellaire’s Debt is $123.8 million at the end of FY2019
Not including the interest. The estimate FY2020 is over $126 million.
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