The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority’s Ironville Dock project in East Toledo remains on schedule to open by year’s end as a result of two construction contracts awarded Thursday, Port Authority President Paul Toth said.
The port authority board of directors Thursday awarded a $2.28 million contract to Rudolph/Libbe, of Lake Township to build a warehouse on part of the former Gulf Oil refinery site on Front Street, and a $353,600 contract to RMF Nooter of Toledo to install electrical controls for Ironville Dock’s conveyor system.
Both awards were complicated by issues with the port authority’s requirement that such contracts include at least 14 percent participation by businesses owned by minorities or women.
For the warehouse contract, port officials initially recommended rejecting Rudolph/Libbe’s bid because it only set aside 6 percent for such “disadvantaged business enterprises.” But Mr. Toth said Rudolph/Libbe’s bid did not include a $200,000 “allowance” for mechanical work that was discussed during prebid meetings with potential bidders.
By subcontracting the mechanical work to a qualifying business, Rudolph/Libbe would meet the DBE requirement, Mr. Toth said.
For the conveyor controls, the port board accepted a staff recommendation that the lowest bid, a $352,508 proposal from Toledo-based F.E.T. Construction Services, be rejected because it lacked a DBE certification.
Work on previous contracts for road and railroad construction and erection of Ironville’s conveyor system is under way.
Mr. Toth said the two new contracts round out the dock’s $18 million development.
Including “alternate” bid items, the warehouse contract’s total value is $2,411,000. The award was approved subject to legal review.
The Ironville terminal is to be operated by Midwest Terminals of Toledo International, which operates the port authority’s existing general cargo dock downstream on the Maumee River.
Earlier in the board meeting, Andre Joseph, vice president of the Atlantic Coast District for the International Longshoremen’s Association, asked to meet individually with port directors to discuss the state of contract negotiations between Midwest and ILA Local 1982.
Mr. Joseph repeated union allegations that Midwest’s negotiating stance amounts to union-busting and discriminates against Local 1982, 90 percent of whose members are black or Hispanic, while two other union locals at the docks are predominantly white.
“The employer has stopped negotiations by giving us a final offer,” Mr. Joseph said.
While board member James Tuschman said it would be difficult for port directors to get involved when they are not “the employer or the employees,” director Bernard “Pete” Culp said he was willing to review any documents the ILA had to support its argument.
“If there’s discrimination of any kind that you can document, not just that you feel, I want to look at it,” Mr. Culp said.
Terry Leach, Midwest’s director of operations, later denied that the company was discriminatory and denied that a “final offer” had been placed on the table.
“We have not cut off negotiations,” he said.
In other business Thursday, the port authority board voted to :
● Expand the agency’s Green Community Program to include alternative-energy and energy-efficiency improvements for public buildings in Oregon.
● Issue $6 million in new taxable revenue bonds for the Toledo Ohio Advanced Energy Improvement Corp., which manages Green Community Program projects.
● Award a $197,486 contract to Lake Erie Electric of Toledo to upgrade exterior lighting at Toledo Express Airport.
● Grant $35,000 to the Zepf Center for predevelopment costs associated with renovating a vacant building at 442 W. Woodruff Ave. that the nonprofit organization recently bought to turn into a mental-health clinic for children.
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