County yet to select Cinder bidder

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By David Giuliani

San Miguel County had been prepared to award a contract to a local company to build a walkway along Cinder Road.

But the county delayed making a decision this week because of a licensing issue with the contractor, Sangre de Cristo Gravel Products.

The company’s previous license expired April 30. It was renewed Aug. 18.

But a provision in state law allows works in progress at the time of license cancellations to continue for up to 120 days. That grace period would have covered Sangre de Cristo’s projects over the summer, most notably the one on Mills Avenue and Seventh and Eight streets.

Sangre de Cristo was one of four bidders for the Cinder Road walkway project. The company’s base bid was at $705,000. The second lowest bid was $876,000 by David Montoya Construction.

The county has a budget of $1.2 million for the project, so it is going with alternate higher bids by the companies. Sangre de Cristo’s alternate bid came in at $972,000, well below the others, County Manager Les Montoya said.

In an Aug. 19 legal opinion, County Attorney Jesus Lopez said the county could award a contract to an unlicensed building contractor. But upon becoming the apparent successful bidder, the company must apply for a license.

Lopez said the license lapse apparently occurred because of a mix-up concerning Sangre de Cristo’s mailing address.

“While the reason for the lapse is not particularly relevant to my determination, as Sangre today has a current and valid contractor’s license, it is helpful to know that its license was not revoked or suspended for any impropriety,” Lopez said in his opinion.

Miguel Martinez, owner of Sangre de Cristo, said his company is in good standing.

“We’ve never had any issues with our license,” he said.

His company completed the project improving Mills, Seventh and Eighth ahead of schedule.

Martinez said his company is able to have low bids in Las Vegas because of its closeness and hiring of local workers.