Math error costs company Wean contract

By David Skolnick


The company that submitted the apparent low proposal to remove asbestos from a building at the former Wean United property and clean soil contaminated with heavy metals on the property didn’t get the contract.

That’s because Environmental Enterprises of Columbus made a “mathematical error with its bid” thus making it the second lowest proposal, said Charles Shasho, deputy director of public works.

The bid tabulation included adding three figures together and having unit prices on two items, Shasho said.

Environmental Enterprises had submitted a proposal April 14 for $282,159, but the city’s review showed the amount actually was $299,163.20.

That was higher than the $288,189 proposal from Environmental Management Specialists of Cleveland. The city’s board of control awarded the contract Thursday to the Cleveland firm.

The city’s estimate for the work was $425,000.

The company can’t start the work until the former Wean United Building, one of downtown’s biggest eyesores, is completely demolished. That is expected to be done in about three months, according to Dean Gearhart, co-owner of Gearmar Properties, which owns the property on South Phelps Street.

Gearmar has demolished much of a 120,000-square-foot section and also needs to take down a 180,000-square-foot portion.

Gearmar is selling material from the demolished structure for scrap and is turning ownership of the property over to the city.

City officials are considering using the property for a riverfront park or additional parking for the nearby Covelli Centre, which the city owns.

The work to be done includes removing asbestos from a boiler house and cleaning soil contaminated by heavy metals.

The project should take 120 days to complete, Shasho said.

Also Thursday, the city hired MS Consultants Inc. of Youngstown for $19,854 for construction administration at Wean.

The city also needs to remove the structure’s concrete foundation.

Youngstown received a $1.7 million grant in 2012 for its portion of the Wean project.

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