DOWNTOWN ARENA Will bid problem cause a delay?

The contract problem is interrupting only logistical planning for now.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Construction isn't delayed on the downtown arena project -- yet.
The struggle to find acceptable bids and reach contracts for elevators and underground plumbing, however, could cause a problem in the coming weeks.
Rebidding both items yielded no apparent results Wednesday. Plumbing bids were far higher than the estimate. There were no bidders for elevators. The same things happened when the first bids were opened a month ago.
Foundation work is on schedule for the $40 million, 5,500-seat arena, said Mike Perry, a construction manager for Hunt Construction Group, of Dallas. Hunt is managing construction for the developer, Global Entertainment Corp. of Phoenix.
The downside is that items that follow the foundation need to be in place on time to avoid delays, he said.
For now, lack of underground plumbing and elevator contracts only interrupts logistic planning, he said. The need for the contracts will be critical in two or three months, he said.
Decisions are expected next week on what to do, but it's likely the contracts will be bid yet again.
No answers
Neither Perry nor Carmen Conglose Jr., city deputy director of public works, had answers for why bids were so high or nonexistent.
Perry said both developments were a surprise.
The plumbing work is estimated at $260,000 and three companies bid. The lowest was Komar Plumbing Inc. of Boardman at $323,500. Other bidders were Prout Boiler and Heating of Youngstown at $428,000 and Conti Corp. of Lowellville at $456,000.
Perry said he will talk with the bidders about the reasons for their proposals to see where the problem lies.
He also will talk with companies that inspected the elevator specifications but declined to bid. At least three companies considered bidding on the elevators, Conglose said.
ON B1: City council has taken steps to obtain small pieces of land for the downtown arena project.
Council approved moves Wednesday at a special meeting to relocate two businesses near the site and acquire a few parcels near the South Avenue Bridge.

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