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City OKs housing project at 11th hour

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By David Giuliani

The Las Vegas City Council had no idea before a meeting Wednesday that it would be considering a big construction project for the housing authority.

And that was a matter of controversy. But in the end, the council unanimously approved a $215,000 contract to replace the roofs of 21 buildings in the authority. Las Vegas-based Rudolph Construction was the low bidder, beating six other companies during a bid opening Tuesday, officials said.

Councilman Cruz Roybal questioned why the council hadn’t known about the roofing issue before the meeting; it wasn’t placed on the original meeting agenda.

The city’s attorney, Carlos Quiones, told the council that the housing issue was placed on the agenda late, but earlier than the 24 hours required under the city’s open meetings resolution.

But Roybal pointed out that none of the council members received the revised agendas, so they could study the issue beforehand.

Chuck Griego, the city’s interim deputy clerk, took the blame, saying he failed to deliver the revised agendas to the council members.

City Manager Sharon Caballero told the council that the city’s interim housing director, Lori Gonzales, found out about the bid opening this week and that her predecessor, Chris Barela, who was dismissed last month, knew about it but that the issue went under the radar during the transition.

Caballero said the city stood to lose the money if it didn’t act on the bids at Wednesday’s meeting.

Councilman Morris Madrid asked if the city had followed all the procurement rules, which he said was his biggest concern.

City officials assured him that they did, and the council then approved the contract.

Julio Maestas, a public housing resident who votes with the council on housing issues, didn’t attend the meeting. Gonzales told the council she left a message with Maestas.