MANSFIELD – The Richland County Land Bank on Monday rescinded a $527,700 contract to demolish and clean up the former Ocie Hill Community Center.
During a special 1 p.m. meeting, the board rescinded the contract that was awarded Jan. 4 to Raze International of Shadyside in Belmont County. Raze had submitted the lowest of seven bids for the effort, funded through a state grant, Amy Hamrick, land manager said.
The board then granted the project to C& J Contractors of Cleveland for $542,500. They were the next lowest bidder.
Hamrick said when she contacted Raze after the contract was awarded, the Raze company said it could not start the Mansfield project until May 1 and had gotten two new jobs between Dec. 19, 2022 (the bid opening) and Jan. 3.
She said they told her they would love to continue to do the project but would not be able to do the work until May 1, which is when the Ohio Department of Development basically says these projects need to be done.
Hamrick said the demolition specs were specific about the deadline.
“We said it had to be finished on or before May 15,” Hamrick said. “They signed that they understand about the extension. … It really means we’re not going to have a problem not awarding it to the lowest bidder according to (attorney) John Burton,” she added.
Board members said they didn’t want to miss out on grant money because the project didn’t start on time.
The state had announced in October the Land Bank had been awarded up to $2 million for the project, part of the $500 million statewide for demolition and brownfield remediation.
The demolition projects are being funded as part of the Ohio Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program, developed to help local communities tear down dilapidated commercial and residential buildings and revitalize surrounding properties to attract investments, businesses, and jobs, the land bank said.
Ocie Hill, a community building for numerous agencies in recent years on the city’s north end, was closed in March 2020 for safety reasons.
Hamrick said she doesn’t yet have the date for when C&J Construction can start on Ocie Hill but she will call them.
“They have to put in a 10-day EPA notification first,” she said.