Councilmember Kevin Faulconer is so concerned about the failure of the City of San Diego to yet successfully put out to bid – or to have built – the public restroom at the foot of Brighton Avenue in Ocean Beach, that he plans to have the Council audit the department that is responsible for the bidding process.
Mr. Faulconer, who represents Ocean Beach as part of District 2, has added and has had approved an audit of the City’s Purchasing and Contracting Department within the 2012 budget. A recent series of bids for the project have been denied by that Department as being “non-responsive”. Apparently, three of the last 4 bids were denied, and the one accepted as a bid totals $915,000.
In inquires by Faulconer’s office about the future of the project, they have been told that the Department has to complete the design and either send the only bid on the table out for construction of the project, or yet again, for another time, send another bid out for the proposal.
Faulconer’s office is still waiting for a response from the Purchasing and Contracting Department for details and clarifications as to the reasons 3 of the 4 bids were deemed “non-responsive” to the original proposal.
The Department has also assured Faulconer’s office that they still plan to meet the construction deadline of May 2012. (There is a summer construction moratorium at the coast.)
This project for the Brighton Ave restrooms – the City calls it a “comfort station” – has been mired in controversy for several years now, a helpless victim of budget cuts and apparent fund transfers.
Closed in July 2009 due to interior hazards, a new design for the restrooms was approved by the OB Planning Board a year later with a price tag of less than half a million dollars. That was nearly two years ago. In the meantime, port-a-potties have been installed – the City rents them for a little over $1300 a month, and working showers remain.
The bottom line: if the project is finally built by May 2012, that means it took the City nearly 3 years to replace what was torn down in the summer of 2009. Three years to build a small, concrete shelter with running water, toilets, and benches.
For details of this controversy and the amazing funds “needed” for a restroom, you must check my earlier post here from early February of this year, and Dave Rice’s much earlier report of the July 2010 OB Planning Board hearing on the project here.