Council votes to rebid Distillery District feasibility study

bfortune@herald-leader.comAugust 27, 2010 

Urban County Council voted 11 to 3 on Thursday night to rebid a contract for a feasibility study that would determine what work needs to be done for a major makeover of the Distillery District, an area along Manchester Street where officials hope and arts and entertainment district will thrive in the future.

The project will likely include new sidewalks, storm and sanitary sewers, underground utilities and street lights.

Strand Associates, a Lexington engineering firm, was chosen to do the feasibility study and follow-up design work. Strand was picked through a qualification-based selection process, which is required on state and federal governments when contracting for engineering services.

But several council members said they weren't sure Strand's price of $500,000 was the best price the city could get for a feasibility study.

Brian Marcum, the city's director of purchasing, said he will talk to the state transportation department to see if the city can select a firm, based on competitive pricing, to do the feasibility study, but choose a company, based on qualifications, to do the design phase.

"We will ask for a competitive price on their fee, but the firm has to be qualified. If we feel they aren't, we won't even look at their fee," he said.

The three council members who voted against the proposal to rebid were Andrea James, Diane Lawless and Tom Blues. Ed Lane recused himself.

Reach Beverly Fortune at (859) 231-3251 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3251

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