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San Gabriel : New Bids for Mission Plan

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Faced with higher bids than expected for the first phase of beautifying the Mission District, the City Council last week repackaged the project to include the planned park-and-ride lot on Mission Drive and sought a new round of bids.

City staff said that one contractor might be more efficient than two to coordinate the expanded project. In addition to the park-and-ride lot, the planned improvements include decorative paving, trees and street lights, mostly along Mission Drive.

The low bid for the improvements, without the park-and-ride, was more than $500,000 over the $1.15-million budget. Offering the new contract during winter, a slack time for contractors, might also attract more bidders and lower offers, staff said.

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Councilwoman Mary Cammarano said it would be “penny-wise and dollar-foolish” to scale back the beautification effort. The vote was unanimous to put the original design out to bid again.

Mayor James Castenada voted with the council on the chance that a new bid might meet the old budget, but he argued that the city should consider deferring portions of the work to future fiscal years if the new bids are still too high.

In other matters, the council scheduled a public hearing on the city’s redevelopment plan for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 in council chambers.

In addition, five youth commissioners--Jason S. Allen, Theresa M. Cummings, Aundrea M. Gutierrez, Wei-Li Sun and Nina N. Vasquez--were appointed to one-year terms by the council.

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