Council holds off on prevailing wage discussion for library

Bills

Gilroy’s City Council held off Monday on discussing whether to
decide against bidding the Gilroy Library project at the prevailing
wage as a means of cost savings.
Gilroy’s City Council held off Monday on discussing whether to decide against bidding the Gilroy Library project at the prevailing wage as a means of cost savings.

However, council members wanted to provide more time for residents to get up to speed on the issue and wanted to make sure that they were in compliance with the city’s Open Government Ordinance. Mayor Al Pinheiro ultimately called for a special meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday on the issue.

After a brief discussion about whether the Open Government Ordinance required a certain amount of time to pass before calling for a special meeting, the city attorney determined that was not the case. However, the state Ralph M. Brown Act, which governs public meeting laws, requires at least 24 hours to set a special meeting.

Both city staff and council members alike say time is of the essence regarding the library, as bid documents will go out to prequalified contractors on March 23 before the next regularly scheduled council meeting. The city already has pre-selected some bidders that have experience with building libraries and know how to meet environmental standards that the council desires for the the building.

City officials estimate that the city may be able to save 20 percent to 30 percent on labor costs if it does not pay prevailing wages. Total savings could amount to $3 to $5 million. At the same time, city officials expect that the sooner the project goes out to bid, the better deal they will get, as the depressed economy could lead to lower bids.

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