The Smithfield Town Council will spend an extra $2,414.10 in taxpayer money after awarding a bid to resurface the tennis courts at Smithfield Community Park.
North State Resurfacing of Wendell was the low bidder at $33,150 but the town opted to go with the highest bidder, Outer Banks Tennis Contractors of Enfield, NC, at $35,564.10 because Parks and Recreation Director Gary Johnson said, in his opinion, the company does a better job at repairing surface cracks.
North State’s bid included crack repair and both companies agreed to provide a one year warranty on their work plus a manufacturer’s warranty on the materials. Johnson said he preferred Outer Banks crack repair method and the council agreed to spend the extra money based on his recommendation.
Town Attorney Bob Spence said state statues give the Town some discretion in awarding a bid if there is any concern as to the “quality, performance and time specified in proposals for the performance of the contract.”
“There were issues here as I remember when it was discussed in front of the council that the town thought one repair method superior to the other and chose the bidder who had what they thought the superior repair method, a heat application system to merge the underlying asphalt. That would be exactly why there is discretion in the statute, picking the long term better deal though at short term higher expense,” Spence said in an email.