Home Feature Headline Bids for Apopka’s splash pad spur controversy among competing contractors

Bids for Apopka’s splash pad spur controversy among competing contractors

A rendering of what Apopka's new splash pad could look like once completed.

The City Council voted 4-0 Wednesday, August 2, to waive the late bid submittal of one contractor to build Apopka’s splash pad and let city staff work with that contractor on reducing its proposal cost.

City Commissioner Doug Bankson recused himself from voting due to potential conflict of interest. His neighbor is Tim Hudspeth, founder, president and CEO of AccuTech Construction, and his brother works for the company, one of the two companies that submitted bids.

In the second and latest solicitation round, Ryan Fitzgerald Construction (RFC), of Mount Dora, and AccuTech, of Apopka, submitted bids on July 19 for the $750,000 construction of the Kit Land Nelson Park splash pad.

AccuTech submitted its bid four minutes past the 2 p.m. deadline that day, but the city’s bid documents gives the right to waive this and evaluate the solicitation, city officials said.

Whereas RFC’s bid designs were at $713,399 and $722,852, AccuTech’s designs were $859,852 and $934,563.

Ryan Fitzgerald, RFC principal, expressed frustration that AccuTech won the contract, in spite of RFC proposing to do the project for at least $160,000 less than what AccuTech suggested and the latter’s lateness.

“I don’t think it’s proper for you to discard me to the side without having a chance to present the same exact literature that he’s presented because we have the same bids,” Fitzgerald told the City Council.

At a later date, city staff will return to City Council for a final approval of the contractor and project.

An extended story about the Wednesday, August 2, City Council meeting appeared in the Friday, August 4, issue of The Apopka Chief