Firm bids on work to renovate Train Depot; town won’t release details

by Trish Rudder

Only one of the four interested contractors submitted a bid to work on the renovations inside the Berkeley Springs Train Depot.

That bid was opened in a public meeting on March 3 at Town Hall by Town of Bath Recorder Susan Webster.

Bath officials have since said they won’t announce the name of the contractor or the dollar amount of that company’s bid to do the publicly-funded project.

Public construction projects are subject to competitive bidding, and those bids must be opened in a public meeting and read out at that meeting, according to West Virginia law.

An Invitation to Bid published in The Morgan Messenger on February 9 also specifies the bids were to be opened publicly, and the project will be paid for by federal and state funds.

This reporter was not able to attend the March 3 bid opening, and has since been denied access to the bid information.

Webster said in an email that a decision about the bid would be made after everything is verified by the Mills Group and the West Virginia Division of Highways (DOH), who oversees the contract.

Mills Group architect, Jim King, attended the pre-bid meeting on February 17and the bid opening on March 3.

Bath Mayor Scott Merki last Friday said information about the bid couldn’t be published until the Division of Highways approved the bid. He said he would contact the town attorney, Richard Gay before making the decision to release the information on Monday.

At press time, Mayor Merki had not responded to the request for information about the bid.