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Oak Lawn to rebid roof work

Streit's brother works for firm awarded project

By Laura Bollin

A contract awarded by the Oak Lawn Village Board last month for work on the public works building was rescinded Tuesday because the village did not follow proper protocol during the bidding process, according to village officials.

The contract for roof repairs at the Public Works Department's streets and sewers building, 98th Street and Central Avenue, was awarded Nov. 27 to Adler Roofing for $166,085. The board voted 4-3 in favor of awarding the contract, with Mayor Dave Heilmann casting the deciding vote.

The lowest bidder for the project was DCG Roofing at $161,175. Adler did not, however, follow the proper procedures for bidding on the project; and DCG contacted the village with concerns after the bid was awarded, Oak Lawn village manager Larry Deetjen said Tuesday.

On the recommendations of Deetjen and the village attorney, trustees on Tuesday voted to throw out all bids on the contract and rebid the project. Deetjen said he had "lost all confidence" in the bids for the project and wanted to restart the bidding process.

"The procedure that was followed when we redid fire stations [Nos.] 1 and 2 was that we engage an [independent] engineer to assist in bid process and make a recommendation," Deetjen said. "That wasn't followed. This is simple."

Rather than bring in an independent party, the village had Adler assess the public work's building's roof.

"The [lowest] bidder called me the next day at 1:30 in the afternoon, and he had clear and objective complaints," Deetjen said. "I gave my recommendation immediately to rescind the prior action and reject the bids."

Trustee Tom Phelan (District 6) believes the project should have gone to the lowest bidder.

"There is a compliant bid, [DCG] did nothing wrong, they deserve this job," he said.

Phelan said that in his seven years on the Village Board, he had never seen anything more "skeezy" than the awarding of the contract to Adler. In a newsletter emailed to residents and The Reporter, Phelan wrote, "All information so far has clearly shown that this contract couldn't have been more steered to that company unless it was put into a village truck and driven there."

"The bid specs identify particular needs for the job," Phelan said Tuesday. "They all get ignored. This is absolute absurdity. This is an embarrassment to the village of Oak Lawn."

Trustee Bob Streit believes the issue is "all politics" because his brother, Mike Streit, works as an estimator for Adler.

My brother does not have an ownership interest in the company," Streit said. "I don't have interest in the contract so I do not need to abstain. My brother being in the company is the perfect excuse for some people to defame myself, the mayor and the company. Adler Roofing is a private company that has been attacked because they employ my brother. It is disgusting and disgraceful."

The village received seven bids for the contract, and all were solicited in a competitive manner, Streit argued. Two of the companies did not meet bid specifications and were eliminated, and all bidders bidders were told the work had to be done quickly, he added.

"The schedule was a major factor," Streit said. "The roof was in critical need of replacement. I was told if you were on roof, you could fall through it. On the last agenda, we accepted Adler as the lowest responsible bidder."

Trustee Cindy Trautsch, other trustees and Mayor Dave Heilmann agreed that policies needed to be put in place to prevent such issues from happening again.

"It all boils down to policies," Trautsch said. "We have no policies that are formalized or followed."