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by Mark Reutter3:13 pmNov 23, 20110

Contractors and consultants feast on a big spending day

BOE approves $18 million in contracts, with two political contributors to the mayor winning big awards.

Above: Flanigan employees work on Grand Prix repaving. Today the BOE awarded the company $6 million for paving materials. (P. Flanigan & Sons)

The Baltimore Board of Estimates laid out a rich tableful of spending today, approving $18 million in contracts to consultants and contractors, along with several side dishes of EWOs (contracting-ese for “extra work orders”).

The cornucopia of pre-Thanksgiving contracts – about double the dollar amount of a typical board meeting – was granted during a meeting that lasted four minutes. All the awards came under the category of “routine agenda items,” which means they were acted upon collectively in a single vote.

City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young abstained from voting on a number of contracts without explanation. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (who was sick and represented by Finance Director Edward J. Gallagher) approved all of the contracts.

Leading the list of companies taking home a piece of the pie was P. Flanigan & Sons. It was awarded $6 million to supply hot and cold paving materials to various city agencies.

The award was a no-bid extension of a March 2010 award of $6,003,250 for paving materials and was necessary, according to the board’s agenda, “due to an increase in usage of this contract.”

KCI Technologies was awarded $7.5 million to help design rectors, clarifiers and a blower building for the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The consultant’s specific duties were described as follows: “prepare contract documents including plan, specification and a final cost estimate for the additional nitrification facilities required for the enhanced nutrient removal process.”

Campaign Contributors

Both Flanigan and KCI were prominent contributors to Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s reelection.

The Brew previously reported that Flanigan gave Rawlings-Blake $13,500 since 2008, including contributions from the company’s president, Pierce Flanigan IV, and his mother. (The contractor was awarded $4.1 million last June to repave downtown roads for the Baltimore Grand Prix as well as non-bid work in Locust Point.)

KCI Technologies, a Hunt Valley consultancy, gave $4,000 for the mayor’s reelection committee, the maximum contribution allowed by a corporation to a single candidate, according to state election board records.

Here are the other major contracts awarded today:

$2 million to STV/PB Americas for “on-call construction management services” over three years. The consultant will assist the city Department of Transportation (DOT) in managing various projects. Its responsibilities will “include constructability review of construction contract documents, addressing contractor request for information, change orders and claims analysis and inspection,” according to board records.

$1 million to Wallace Montgomery & Associates for “on-call construction management services” over two years. It will assist DOT with on-site project support, geographical information systems support and other tasks.

$1.3 million to IBM for hardware and software maintenance for the Mayor’s Office of Information Technology. This is the second add-on to a 2010 contract with IBM, which has increased the contract from $460,000 to $2.1 million. The contract expires in 2015.

$750,000 to Cloud Gehshan Associates for “on-call environmental graphic design services” with the city Recreation and Parks Department. The consultant will provide graphic designs “the renovation and improvement of various city park and recreation facilities,” according to the board’s agenda.

Extra Work Orders

The spending board also approved $527,890 for EWOs (extra work orders). The three major awards were:

$138,971 to Spiniello Co. for water and sewer improvements in Locust Point. This is the 47th EWO on this contract, which has almost doubled its cost from $7.9 million to $14.2 million.

$156,754 to Bruce & Merrilees Electric Co. for the installation of “variable message systems” around the city. This is the second EWO, which has increased the cost of the contract from $1.5 million to $2 million.

$120,000 to Allied Contractors for conduit systems repairs. This is the seventh EWO that has increased the cost of the contract from $2.1 million to $2.9 million.

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