HELEN, Ga. – As they often do, obtrusive and unnecessary federal regulations have delayed another local project and, in all likelihood, made it more expensive for taxpayers.
Last week, the Helen City Commission approved a contract to build a pedestrian bridge across the Chattahoochee River to Sautee-based Square Deal Enterprises, a company the city has frequently done business with and found to be more than satisfactory. Square Deal built an identical bridge for the city directly across Hwy. 75 and presented a bid that was the lowest of the four received.
But, because the agreement was to have been funded with federal Transportation Enhancement dollars through the Georgia Department of Transportation, it required that a percentage of the work be performed by a minority or woman-owned business. Square Deal did not meet that requirement. Only one bid did and that would cost the taxpayers an additional $270,000.
That left the city with only two options. Either pay the extra $270,000 or rebid the project. On Friday, the commission opted to re-open the bidding process.