Members of the Marshall County Drainage Board opened maintenance bids for the Brock Ditch and the Zechiel-Chapman Ditch during their meeting Monday morning. 

Two companies provided bids for the Harley Brock Ditch: BMF Transport & Excavating from Wakarusa bid $22,605 while Beaver Excavating had a bid of $16,200.  The project is in Bourbon Township and starts just west of Fir Road and continues over to State Road 331.  The project includes cleaning and debrushing 14,500 feet of the ditch and the original bottom along with removal of obvious hooks and straightening the channel where necessary.  The project on the Harley Brock Ditch was awarded to Beaver Excavating out of Walkerton. 

The second maintenance project is on the Zechiel-Chapman Ditch in Union Township. The project calls for cleaning and debrushing 13,000 feet of the Zechiel-Chapman ditch beginning at the north side of the County Line Road and working upstream to the intersection with the Thomas Clarke Tile near Upas Road.  The contractor is to also clean the bottom.  It was noted there are two wetland areas that lie within the project.

When the three bids were opened it appeared there was some question.  LDP Excavating presented a bid of $31,370 and Beaver Excavating was $34,370.  Beaver also offered a bid of $19,900 excluding the wetland work.  The final bid was from Timber Valley from Bourbon.  Their bid was only $18,949 and appeared to include the whole project. 

Drainage Board members had concerns that the new bidder, Timber Valley, did not realize the wetland areas.  While they wanted to accept the bid, Commissioner Mike Burroughs said, “I don’t want to see him get in over his head.”  The County Drainage Board approved the low bid from Timber Excavating and asked County Surveyor Craig Cultice to clarify with them the work in the wetland area.

Monday afternoon the Surveyor’s Office said the Drainage Board will amend and re-bid the Zechiel-Chapman Ditch maintenance project at its next meeting on Tuesday, January 18th.  The bids which were opened during Monday’s meeting are not to be considered.