Local company wins bid to build new Waveland central fire station

Waveland

A local construction company has secured a $3.287 million bid for Waveland’s new central fire station, which will be built on Highway 90 across from KFC.

The contract was awarded Wednesday at the board of aldermen’s meeting and ground was broken on the project Friday morning.

“This is a huge milestone in the recovery process,” Mayor Tommy Longo said Friday. “We are excited to be able to give the firefighters a permanent home.”

Local builder GM&R was the low bidder out of 15 companies.
GM&R is the first local company to be awarded a major recovery project bid.

GM&R Representative Henry “Hank” Martinez said Thursday it’s a great honor to be able to build a major government project in his community.

“We’re very excited about this project,” Martinez said. “Companies from out of town have been getting all the work. It will mean a lot to the community to keep the money at home.”

Martinez said GM&R employs dozens of local workers and nearly all of its sub-contractors are from the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

“We have been bidding on projects and up until now there has not been a lot of consideration for the local builders,” he said. “It was nice to see the mayor and board of aldermen take the locals into consideration.”

The board of aldermen did not have to accept the bid from GM&R because of three errors in its bid, but the board waived the errors and accepted the bid anyway.

Assistant City Attorney Gary Yarborough said that 13 of the 15 bids had some type of “irregularities,” but if the errors did not affect the price of the bid or the competitiveness, the board could waive them.

Martinez told the board that the irregularities did not affect the price of his bid.

The GM&R bid was more than $1 million less than the $4.5 million which was budgeted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Yarborough said.

“The purpose of the bid law is to procure the lowest price for the taxpayers,” Yarborough said. “The city did reserve the right to waive any irregularities in the bid process.”

The new fire station will be an approximately 18,000 square-foot facility which will hold two companies of fire fighters.

The facility will also have a training center and administrative offices.

In December, the city purchased property located just east of Sonic on U.S. 90 at the site of the old Texan Motel for $500,000.

Fire Chief David Garcia said the biggest advantage of the new station will be its location.

The Hwy. 90 location will allow the fire department to better serve the annexed area and the Highway 90 commercial corridor, he said.

The city is currently rebuilding its fire station on Bourgeois Street as part of the city hall/government complex.

Prior to Hurricane Katrina, the city had two fire stations, but a lot less area to cover.

The north station was on Gulfside Street and the south station was on Bourgeois Street.

BY: Dwayne Bremer

The Sea Coast Echo

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