Portland receives bids for Capisic Pond rehab, parking-ticket devices

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PORTLAND — Bids opened last week revealed the restoration of Capisic Pond could be less expensive than anticipated.

They also showed plenty of interest in digitizing the city’s traffic citation process.

A $1.46 million bid by Stillwater-based Sargent Corp. to restore 4.5 acres of open water at the pond off Capisic Street is about $740,000 less than the estimated $2.2 million cost of the long-awaited project.

Also bidding on the work were Gorham-based Shaw Bros. Construction, $2.12 million; Sumco Eco-Contracting of Salem, Massachusetts, $2.32 million, and Scarborough-based R.J. Grondin, $3.4 million.

The city has allocated $2.25 million to restore the pond, spread over capital improvement plans in fiscal years 2015 and 2016. The funding was also almost evenly split between bonds paid back through property taxes and sewer fee revenues.

The bidder has not been selected and a final contract has not been drafted, but work is expected to begin in the fall.

Conditions at Capisic Pond, where invasive cattails have encroached on open water, were summarized in a 2012 report by engineering firm Woodard & Curran. According to the report, the pond is the city’s largest body of freshwater, and has not been dredged since the 1950s. It has also been more than 20 years since the dam that creates the brook was modified.

The city Planning Board approved the restoration plan almost two years ago, with Woodard & Curran proposing to remove 213,000 square feet of cattails. The restoration includes new plantings with the hope of luring more avian species to the park.

New tech for tickets

City Parking Manager John Peverada declined comment as his department evaluated 10 bids to provide 12 city parking control officers with handheld digital devices for producing parking citations.

Bids ranged from almost $69,000 to $195,000, with seven bids topping $100,000. City spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said Tuesday that $70,000 was allocated in the fiscal year 2015 budget for the devices. The money was never spent because of an overall spending freeze.

According to the request for proposals, the city is seeking devices weighing less than 2 pounds that hold a charge for 10 hours and recharge in no more than eight hours. The city is also looking for wireless capability, and the vendor must be prepared to service them for at least three years under a contract that could be extended to five years.

The RFP noted that parking control officers write about 130,000 citations annually, while enforcing regulations on 1,500 metered spaces. The devices must be capable of logging and printing at least 100 citations daily.

Bids will be evaluated on a 100-point scale, with a maximum of 40 points awarded each for cost and “equipment functionality and ease of operation,” and the remaining maximum of 20 points awarded for vendor qualifications.

The RFP packet also noted the city generated more than $2 million in revenue in 2014 from parking citations ranging from $15 to $200.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Mike Clenott, a Portland parking control officer, writes a citation Feb. 12. The city received 10 bids from companies to supply new digital devices to log and print citations.

Dredging and replanting work that will remove invasive species and restore Capisic Pond in Portland, seen Feb. 12, received four bids from contractors.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.