Lox Groves Council Seeks Proposals For OGEM Road Repairs

The Loxahatchee Groves Town Council on Tuesday, Nov. 3 approved a scope of work and sending out a request for proposals for the repair of roads paved with open-graded emulsified mix (OGEM).

Town staff prepared a proposal to repair 9.5 miles of the OGEM roads that have potholes, repair damaged edges and surfaces, remove berms that have encroached onto the OGEM and seal undisturbed areas.

Town Manager Jamie Titcomb said the purpose of the agenda item was for the council to decide what it wanted done with the limited amount of money available, and specific contracts would be awarded later. He pointed out that town staff had collected several bids, depending on the work the council wants done, whether it be fixing, paving and/or sealing.

“The prices are from multiple vendors, and we can bid it on the scope of work or select the individual vendor based on which methodologies we might decide to deploy,” Titcomb said. “The consensus we’ve amassed over several discussions on this is the prioritization of trying to fix, repair or restore the OGEM roads first and foremost.”

Mayor Lisa El-Ramey said part of the discussion had been getting guarantees on the work. Maintenance & Operations Director Larry Peters said he felt none of the contractors would give a guarantee of more than a year on the work if it could not be shown that the road has a substantial base and/or has standing water that has degraded the edge of the road.

“They will guarantee their workmanship for the product they put in for one year,” Peters said. “Some will guarantee the sealing of the OGEM and micro-sealing of the OGEM for two or three years.”

El-Ramey asked if there would be a cost savings if the town could afford to repair all the damaged roads, and Peters said there is usually a cost savings if the scope of work is larger and defined.

Titcomb added that the price for materials comes down for a larger project, and there are fewer mobilization and staging fees charged by the contractor.

Councilwoman Laura Danowski posed the idea of levying a town-wide municipal service taxing unit (MSTU) to repair all roads with priority on the OGEM roads, but Councilwoman Phillis Maniglia objected, saying residents already pay taxes and assessments.

“I would like several companies to come in and take a look at these roads and tell us directly,” Maniglia said. “I want to hear from a third party.”

Titcomb said over time, staff had brought many different quotes and ways of addressing the issue.

“I’ve said to you along that coming up with a scope of work helps us actually put a bid on the streets that will respond to that particular need,” he said.

El-Ramey said she felt the estimated $325,200 proposed by staff was reasonable.

“It is not an ideal fix, but I think this is something that is affordable and something that we asked them to come forward with, knowing its limitations, that we’re buying time,” she said.

Maniglia made a motion to proceed with the request for proposals and scope of work, which carried 5-0.