Anna Maria had two bids in hand for the construction of a new city pier.
However, city commissioners voted July 26 to throw them out and seek new bids. The vote was 5-0 on Mayor Dan Murphy’s recommendation.
Speeler and Associates submitted a $3,762,875.60 bid for construction of the new pier, while ICON from Tampa submitted a $4,138,417.60 bid.
Requests for bids were issued June 15 and due by July 13.
Both bids exceeded the $2.5 million estimate for the project prepared for the city by Ayres Associates out of Tampa.
Murphy met with both contractors and said there were some disparities between the estimates — even on the cost of pilings.
Murphy said Speeler didn’t use Anna Maria’s unit pricing and instead used its own figures to reach its bid.
The mayor said ICON looked at Anna Maria’s unit pricing for the materials and labor and said transport of materials is an issue. Barges might be needed to move material to the site.
Murphy said ICON also noted that city specifications for the new pier are high quality and expensive.
“We are building a Rolls-Royce of a pier,” Murphy said.
He also said tariffs on steel and concrete put material prices beyond the original city estimates, but made only a small impact in the bids.
By throwing out the bids, the city possibly can get more input, as well as review or revise specifications.
Murphy said nine other contractors expressed interest in the job.
He estimated it would take another four months to complete the bidding.
And although the pier was closed and then diminished to pilings, leaseholder Mario Schoenfelder, whose rent already is suspended, was required to retain insurance until the July 26 commission meeting, when commissioners voted 5-0 to waive the insurance.
The requirement will remain waived until construction of a new pier is completed.
Schoenfelder leased the pier in August 2000, and his contract expires in December 2020.
Anna Maria pays the insurance on parking and the shoreline property at the city pier.