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updated: 5/13/2013 11:14 PM

3rd level of Geneva parking deck delayed over cost

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The third floor of the Geneva parking deck won't be built this summer after all.

The Geneva City Council agreed Monday to reject all bids for the project, after they came in about 33 percent higher than expected. A formal vote will follow on May 20.

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The cost was the primary reason Metra, which is picking up the bill for building the additional level, asked the city to reject the project, according to Mary McKittrick, city administrator.

The project was estimated to cost $3.3 million to build, not including engineering costs. The lowest bid was $4.398 million.

Bids were opened in late January.

Metra officials have suggested the city rebid the project later this year for construction in spring 2014, according to McKittrick, and have said they believe they can get the extra money from the Regional Transportation Authority.

Another reason for rejecting the project, according to a letter from Metra to the city, was because the winning bidder didn't seem to have adequate plans to use minority and female contractors and workers, per a federal rule calling for certain percentages of each.

Transit projects supported with federal funding, such as Metra, have to have a Disadvantaged Business Enterprises program. DBEs are small businesses that are at least 51 percent owned by a person who is both socially and economically disadvantaged (or such a person owns at least 51 percent of its stock); and whose management and daily operations are controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged people who own the business, according to Metra's Office of Business Diversity and Civil Rights. The letter said that the bidder did not commit to meeting the goal, and gave "no indication that its effort to solicit DBEs was any different than its effort to solicit other vendors."

Metra officials have suggested the city rebid the project later this year for construction in spring 2014, according to McKittrick, and have said they believe they can get the extra money from the Regional Transportation Authority.

The deck, on Third Street across from the Metra station, was built in 2007. It is intended to primarily serve railroad commuters. It would add about 180 spaces.

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