Pingree Grove is moving forward with plans to install a new traffic signal and add turn lanes along Route 72, but at least one trustee questioned why the village didn't seek bids for the project.
The village board voted 4 to 1 on Tuesday to accept an $83,000 proposal for engineering plans by Lintech Engineering, the Algonquin-based firm the village has been using for nearly a decade.
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Earlier this year, the village approved a $20,000 study, also to be done by Lintech, for the traffic signal at Route 72 and Reinking Road. The village is also planning to add a turn lane along Route 72 into the condominiums west of Route 47, and another along Route 72 into the westernmost portion of the Cambridge Lakes North subdivision, Village Administrator Bill Barlow said.
"We put out bids for blacktop, we put out bids for trees, we have bids for everything except $100,000 no-bid contracts," said trustee Bob Spieker, who cast the dissenting vote. Trustee Joshua Cossiboon was absent.
According to the Illinois Municipal Code, there is no obligation to seek bids if projects are awarded to contractors with whom there is an established relationship, Village Attorney Dean Frieders said.
The project will be funded with $1 million the village was given by Cambridge Homes, which built the two subdivisions that meet at the intersection, village officials said.
Engineering plans typically amount to about 10 percent of the total project's cost, Barlow said. "I can virtually guarantee that bringing in anther firm will cost more money," he said.
Lintech Principal Jeremy Lin said that his firm's long-standing relationship with the village means he attends board meetings and goes "the extra mile" when working on projects with village staff. His $100-per-hour rate hasn't changed since 2002, he added.
"Considering the state of the economy, we should take advantage of bidding out," said trustee Ray LaMarca, who nonetheless voted in favor of awarding the project to Lintech.