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Inside City Hall

The Dripby Mark Reutter9:13 pmMar 7, 20120

Inside City Hall: BOE approves quickly a lot of spending

Above: Baltimore government won’t be suffering from a shortage of paper leaf and lawn bags.

Total spending: $16.5 million. Total time of meeting: 2 minutes.

The Baltimore Board of Estimates today approved 65 pages of spending items with a single voice vote.

The largest expenditure (over $3 million) went for new portable oxygen tanks for city firefighters, replacing the current crop of SCBAs, or self-contained breathing apparatus.

One of the more curious items was $85,000 for a one-year supply of paper lawn and leaf bags. Under prevailing prices, this would come to about 200,000 bags.

Routine Agenda Items

All of the expenditures were approved as “routine agenda items” to be acted upon collectively.

Most of the meeting was taken up by Deputy Comptroller B. Harriette Taylor reading off two withdrawn items and listing some abstentions by the panel’s three elected officials – Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young and City Comptroller Joan Pratt.

Here is a granular look at some of the main items approved:

$3.25 million to German-based Dräger for SCBA equipment and supplies to replace existing Dräger equipment used by the Fire Department. Under a complicated formula, the company will accept trade-ins of existing SCBAs and provide technical support, including repairs, over a two-year period.

$1.5 million to One Call Concept Locating Services for utility relocating and related work for the bureau of water and wastewater. This is an increase on an existing contract of $3.8 million, making the total award to the Hanover, Md., company $5.3 million through April 2013.

$1,393,741 to AIDS Interfaith Residential Services (AIRS) to provide housing to 111 homeless clients for the next year, plus an additional $50,325 to give HIV/AIDS clients  “useful and critical information about their illness, community resources and their personal needs in a friendly and familiar setting.”

Two weeks ago, the spending board approved $1,384,650 to AIRS to oversee permanent housing for 39 newly released prisoners with HIV/AIDS.

$1,387,399 to the Maryland Center for Veterans Education and Training Inc. (MCVET) to operate a transitional home for 120 homeless veterans through this October.

$776,895 to Santos Construction Co. for the reconstruction of alleys in various locations. A minority subcontractor, Machado Construction, will receive 21% of the contract, and a women-owned business, McCall Trucking, a 7% share.

$750,000 to Hershey Meters Co. for fireline water meters for the bureau of water and wastewater. This is an increase to a 2008 contract, which will now total $1,799,470.

$700,000 to Marcon Engineering Services for repairs and maintenance of city-owned boats. Last October, Marcon and General Ship Repair Corp. won a $3 million contract for the repair of the city’s fireboats.

$400,000 to Johnson & Towers for parts and service for Allison transmissions. This is a second add-on to a 2009 contract for a total of $1.1 million through May 2013.

$331,716 to Mosaic Community Services, an affiliate of Sheppard Pratt Health System, to provide mediation and parenting seminars for children and adults referred by the Baltimore City Circuit Court.

$220,170 to Machado Construction for urgent safety improvements at the intersection of Franklintown Road and Winans Way.

$239,500 plus $54,000 in annual service and licensing fees to Inet Inc. (Iparq) to provide software for the city’s Residential Permit Parking Program. Last year, the program issued 35,000 permits in 43 RPP areas.

up to $200,000 for a licensing agreement between Verizon Maryland and the Mayor’s Office of Information Technology (MOIT) to let the city attach its planned fiber-optic broadband network on “up to 40 poles and up to 3,234 feet of conduit” owned by Verizon.

$150,000 to Brown’s Communications, of Hunt Valley, to maintain Motorola’s 800 MHz system at city fire stations. This is a “selected source,” or no-bid, contract in which the spending board certified that “the above procurement is of such a nature that no advantage will result in seeking nor would it be practical to obtain competitive bids.”

Timothy Brown, president of Brown’s Communications, contributed $1,000 to City Council President Young’s reelection campaign last May 18. Young did not abstain from voting on the contract.

$85,000 to Duro Bag, of Florence, Kentucky, for paper lawn and leaf bags for “various” unspecified city agencies. This is an increase of a $120,530 contract for lawn and leaf bags awarded back in May 2008, and lasts through May 2013.

$96,867 to the Downtown Partnership – which in turn will go to Brinton Building Services Inc. – to pay for facade improvements of city-owned properties in the Westside redevelopment district. The 15 properties to be gussied-up are on the 400 and 500 blocks of North Howard St., 200 block of West Lexington and 200 block of West Fayette.

The project will complete a larger effort by the Baltimore Development Corp. (BDC) and Downtown Partnership to improve “key and visible” city-owned properties in the city’s former retail center. Downtown Partnership has contributed $150,000 to this effort, according to board documents.

$34,065 to The Baltimore Sun to publish the city’s 2012 tax sale list.

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