Highway Garage Committee

The Highway Garage Committee is charged with overseeing the development of a new highway garage, from assessing needs to finishing construction. The Committee is working to bring a robust recommendation for proceeding with the design phase for a new Highway garage to the May, 2019 annual Town Meeting.

Walter Goodridge is the Chair, Tom Brogle is the Vice-Chair, and Jerry Axelson is the spokesperson for the committee. Other members include Ken Ouimette, Ron Sweet, and Liv Wyatt.

Meeting dates–all Tuesday evenings–are:

  • November 6,
  • December 4,
  • January 15,
  • February 12, and
  • March 12.

The November 6 meeting starts with a site visit to the current Highway Garage at 6 p.m., and is followed by a meeting in the General Purpose Room of the Town Hall.

All meetings are open to the public. Please attend to learn about the process and the choices the Committee makes as it moves toward the May, 2019 annual Town Meeting.

Documents related to the 2013-2014 design and bidding process may be found here.

There are a couple of commonly asked questions about the process of moving forward. Regarding procurement law, see: https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/11/sn/dcmanual.pdf. See especially pp. 5-6 in the document (pp. 19-20 in the pdf), which states:

OPM. Before contracting for design services in connection with a public building contract that is estimated to cost $1.5 million or more, your jurisdiction must contract with or assign a qualified OPM to serve as your jurisdiction’s agent during the planning, design and implementation of the contract.

The OPM must be independent of the project designer, general contractor or any subcontractor. The individual or entity serving in this role must be engaged in the practice of providing project management services for building construction and supervision. In addition, the OPM must either: (1) be a registered architect or professional engineer with at least five years of experience in building construction and supervision; or (2) possess at least seven years of experience in building construction and supervision. You may assign an existing employee to serve as the OPM if that employee meets or exceeds these requirements and has building construction and supervision experience relating to projects of similar size and scope of complexity as the project to which the employee will be assigned.

Please also note this item regarding bid splitting:

     The law contains severe civil and criminal penalties for those public officials who seek to evade the requirements of the public construction laws by failing to publicly advertise contracts or by splitting contracts into smaller contracts in order to avoid competitive bidding. M.G.L. c.49, §44J(7). Contracts awarded in violation of these requirements may be held unenforceable by a court regardless of whether the designer or contractor was acting in good faith. (https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/11/sn/dcmanual.pdf)