Barrett Brown, of Single Track, drives the machine he designed off a truck Monday, delivering the $100,000 trail builder to Steamboat Springs' Routt County Riders organization. Brown said he's seen plenty of excited groups accept deliveries in the past, but Steamboat's group stood out. "A lot of groups have worked hard, and some have some of the community support this group has, but no one can touch the total community support these guys have put together," he said. "It's really the envy of every program in the country. Really."

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Barrett Brown, of Single Track, drives the machine he designed off a truck Monday, delivering the $100,000 trail builder to Steamboat Springs' Routt County Riders organization. Brown said he's seen plenty of excited groups accept deliveries in the past, but Steamboat's group stood out. "A lot of groups have worked hard, and some have some of the community support this group has, but no one can touch the total community support these guys have put together," he said. "It's really the envy of every program in the country. Really."

New trail machine leaves builders giddy

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Morning Gloria Trail set to go

The Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department announced Monday that Routt County Riders had been awarded a contract of $102,775 in grant funds from Great Outdoors Colorado to build the Morning Gloria Trail.

The city agreed to match $58,000 with money from the 2A accommodations tax money. The trail building will include Rocky Mountain Youth Corps and Conservation Youth Corp workers.

The trail is named after Gloria Gossard, and much of it is on land the longtime local philanthropist donated to the city.

The trail will stretch 4.2 miles in a loop on the front side of Emerald Mountain, providing expansive views of the Yampa Valley.

— Barrett Brown has seen excitement. It comes with the territory, as the inventor and producer of a machine that, at its core, makes fun things happen.

His company, Single Track, designs and builds small singletrack-building construction and earth-moving machines. Translation: His company makes cutting bike trails easier and faster. When his factory finishes a machine and delivers it to a customer, there’s always excitement.

“But it’s never like this,” he said Monday, moments after unloading his company’s 11th machine off of a flatbed truck at the Bear River Bike Park in Steamboat Springs.

Routt County Riders accepted delivery of its newest and coolest tool Monday, and trail-building enthusiasts couldn’t contain their excitement as Brown handed over the keys.

“It’s fantastic,” Aryeh Copa said. “It will save everyone a lot of money and time and a lot of back. We get to do the heavy lifting and the hard work and rely on human labor just for the finish work.”

The machine cost nearly $100,000, about half of which Routt County Riders has managed to collect in the past six months via fundraising and donations. It landed big checks from Moots ($12,500) and another big sum (another $12,500) and a big loan from Yampa Valley Bank in addition to plenty of other private donations of money and labor.

The result is a machine the trail-building community said will revolutionize their work.

The process of building trails typically involves an army of volunteers and months of work. The Quarry Mountain Trail, one of the newest trails in Emerald Mountain’s mostly hand-built network, stretches 1 1/4 miles and took an entire summer, plus some time the following spring, to build.

Gretchen Sehler — who with her husband, Marc Sehler, heads up much of Routt County Riders’ trail-building efforts — said the Single Track machine could accomplish the same in about a week.

“It’s going to make our lives a lot easier,” she said.

She estimated a volunteer can make about 10 feet of trail per day by hand. The machine could help realize 1,200 feet per day.

Big plans are ahead for the machine. First up is the Morning Gloria Trail, a longtime “want” for the Sehlers but difficult to approach when it may take years to build. Now, builders are hoping to have the 4-mile trail in by August, if weather cooperates.

Brown actually will help with that process. He spent Monday morning working with area trail builders, teaching them the ins and outs of his machine. He’ll continue the process all week, getting out to help start the process.

His machine left locals amazed Monday.

Its most distinctive characteristic is that it’s small, marvelously thin compared to most small dozers and excavators — “Cute, but powerful,” Routt County Riders’ Wendy Tucciarone said.

It has an articulating blade on the front, another key feature, and an excavating shovel.

It’s so slick, it doesn’t even need a driver. Brown drove it off the truck with a large remote control setup.

It all left Steamboat Springs’ trail builders positively giddy.

“It’s going to give me 10 more years of building,” Sehler said.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

Comments

Fred Duckels 1 month, 2 weeks ago

The inside workings here turn my stomach but I am going to withhold judgment for now. I'm all for the concept but irrational exuberance may be prevailing.

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Scott Wedel 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Well, if this machine is so great then why have a local nonprofit own it where it will sit idle for 8 months of the year? Form a company and start seeking bids in warm weather states for building trails in Oct-May.

The Morning Gloria trail has funding of over $15K a week if they finish in August. So the machine with operator would seem to be worth $2K a day.

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Mark Ruckman 1 month, 2 weeks ago

You had your chance when the 2A people were asking for locals to be on the committee - now sit back and let the folks have a chance to do something positive.

If they fall on their heads and break their crown, you can swoop in all your glory.

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Scott Wedel 1 month, 2 weeks ago

So you won't give an answer? The answer is secret unless you are on the 2A committee?

And the idea of forming a business to year round utilize an expensive of machinery is viewed as criticism projecting a failure?

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Eric Meyer 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Scott, We are focusing on this summer here in Steamboat but have discussed a number of options to utilize the machine during the months we typically cannot build in Routt County. Many parts of Routt County are free of snow much longer than the mountains around Steamboat. There is a very good chance this machine (ST240) greatly benefits Steamboat in the months it is not feasible to build in Steamboat. I assure you we are weighing our options and making sure we don't commit to something we cannot follow through with.

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Mark Ruckman 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Answer to what?

You had a chance to put your name in for the 2A committee and you made a choice to not apply. You had a chance to provide your thoughts and concerns in a constructive manner. You made a choice to sit on the side lines and whine, whine, whine and whine.

Everyone has seen your concerns a dozen times about 2A, it is time to stop whining every time a 2A story comes up and give the 2A people a chance to execute.

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Eric Meyer 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Scott, You are missing the component where youth corp was written into the contract. Depending on the week and number of crews the city has scheduled (and the contractor is responsible for), they will cost $6-12,000/week. I am told youth corp rates are standard that is why I don't mind posting that component of this. I would be more detailed if I could, but I don't want to jeopardize the project or violate anything in the contract we signed with the city. Not a lot of time as I have to get back to my real job that pays the bills (has nothing to do with the trails. All the trail time is 100% volunteer), but I wanted to clear that up as best I could.

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Fred Duckels 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I tried to qualify and was promptly told that I couldn't build a trail. Sure wouldn't want any competition for the pre determined low bidder. Millions to be spent here on a sweetheart deal.

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Eric Meyer 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Fred, This was in no way "pre determined" or a "sweetheart deal". The only criteria they used past the pre qualification stage was price. RCR is working hard to bring the costs down on the projects we are involved with.

Keep your eyes on the next few 2A trail projects that council approved. They are likely a much better fit. I challenge you to half the estimated cost of one of those projects and benefit this community. I am not sure RCR can pull it off, but that is something I would like to see happen. We will know by the end of the summer how we'll approach next year. Please try to keep an open mind and see how this first project and year plays out.

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Eric Meyer 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I cannot find the link on the city's site that showed the qualified bidders, but there were at least 7 qualified companies.

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Eric Meyer 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Found the check box I was not seeing. Turns out it was 8 qualified bidders total, including Routt County Riders. Here is the link: http://co-steamboatsprings.civicplus.com/bids.aspx?bidID=65

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Fred Duckels 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Eric. This is mostly a scheme by enthusiasts run amok on the bid process. It is on par with the old bait and switch merchandising trick. This is basically smoke and mirrors with a huge helping of arrogance. Keep in touch.

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Mark Ruckman 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Bidding processes are not that complex.

You establish criteria, release for a bid, screen qualifications / price, down select to a couple and interview.

When ever I run a bid process, a key is ensuring the looser(s) understand why they lost and how they can improve next time.

Fred if you think you have been treated unfair, then go to a 2A meeting and ask about the process for bids.

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Pat West 1 month, 2 weeks ago

The paper says this Morning Gloria trail is "on the front side" of Emerald mountain( the city only owns the "front side") I believe it will start on the north side (front) off Lupine (?) and traverse to the West side(above river rd), continue below the "Quarry Overlook" and finish by gaining the Emerald/Quarry mountain ridge by the south side of the ridge at the same point where the existing Quarry Mountain Trail reaches the ridge from the north, at the east end of Root canal. It will be a great addition to the network, and open an entire new side of the property that Gloria Gossard donated to the city. Views will be of Mt Werner, and south to the Flat Tops. Presently there are no official trails in this area.

Bravo to all who are working to open this new area to the public.

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Fred Duckels 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Mark you seem to have the talking points down pat and an attorney has certainly looked the deal over. Stay tuned. I'm all for the project but the taxpayers shouldn't be paying for fantasy camp for giddy cyclists.

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Chris Hadlock 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Fred, Have you noticed the sheer number of cyclists in town this week? Making amenities to boost our tourist visits seems like a good step for a tourism based economy don't you think?

Can your equipment build a single track trail?
Do you have anything that competes with this machine? We all know your opinion about this purchase, but what alternatives did you offer?

Come on, if you are going to keep blasting them you should argue with some meat instead of cotton candy.

No I am not a cyclist much and I doubt this will affect my life at all, but I have seen the cyclists in the local hotels, restaurants and shops all week. The growing interest in this sport gives our community another asset to build upon. Why are you so negative about these opportunities?

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Fred Duckels 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Chris If I want to bid and build a trail with a teaspoon and a dustpan that is my prerogative. I'm fine with trails but public works using taxpayer money is a touchy situation. There is too much questionable evidence here to assume that all the criteria have been met.

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Mark Ruckman 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Questionable evidence?

evidence is evidence and nothing more

I think you are trying to imply that there is something illegal or unethical being done with voter approved public funds. Now that is quite serious and if you in fact believe you have evidence of such illegal activity then the 14th district DA be made aware of this activity. He may even choose to leverage the freshly empaneled grand jury.

If you don't have any evidence to take to the DA then you are just whining because you didn't win a bid. Is business so slow you have to resort to public whining for work?

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Chris Hadlock 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Fred, IMO, offering up 10 guys with teaspoons and dustpans is probably why you lost the bid. Why is it touchy? Public Works with Public money seems to be the definition to me...... You, know, roads, bridges, trails, infrastructure. Where's the Beef?

What questionable evidence are you referring to? I looked at the bid, there seems to be nothing fishy there to me. I will not accuse you of milking the Gov't like others have, I am sure you run your company in a manner that is appropriate and bid on projects that you believe can make a profit. I fail to understand why you are so touchy about this one.

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Scott Wedel 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Fred,

Looks like their business plan is to get donations to buy an expensive machine and then charge little when using it. Not much for the public to complain about there.

Get worried when they have cost overruns and ask the city council for funds to keep the machine going.

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Fred Duckels 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Lots of enthusiasm and everyone means well but it seems that we are trying to put a square peg into a round hole. Chris and Mark, stay with your day jobs. My personal concerns are irrelevant, the bidding process is the holy grail of public works and if it is allowed to deteriorate where does it end?

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Chad Johnson 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Like Duckles Construction, Johnson Excavation was told that we were not qualified to build trails. I guess I'm struggling with how we can be qualified to build schools for our kids, construct roads that meet city and county specs in addition to the over 100 years of combined experience between these two companies but we were not even allowed to bid for lack of experience. Seems strange at best.

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john bailey 1 month, 2 weeks ago

yep , strange indeed. must not have had a use for concrete......

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Mark Ruckman 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Fred you bark about evidence of wrong - man up and take it to the DA.

bidding and public works - works great in the United States. Look at the crappy roads that are built by the cheapest bidder vs. Europe where the bidder is responsible for the surface for x years after building.

Maybe the 2A people took the Europe approach and decided it was more important to not tear up the land with big equipment and wait 2+ years for the land to heal. Maybe they wanted smaller foot prints that you can't provide.

Again, if the bidding process had something illegal as you implied with your "questionable evidence" then shine the light into the dark corners so everyone can see the mice.

If there was nothing illegal and you didn't like the process, tough.

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Chad Johnson 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I can't speak for Fred, but the major issue I have is that we were told we didn't have the qualifications to bid. If the city publishes a bid its up to each individual contractor to decide if they can perform the work or not. If in the specs it calls for something I can't perform then it's up to me to figure out a way to meet that spec or pull out of the bid. This would mark the first time in 42 years of business we were told "we aren't qualified to do the work." As a contractor that takes pride in our work and has never encountered a job that we couldn't provide what the customer wanted. I've got a problem with not even being given the opportunity to bid.

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Scott Wedel 1 month, 2 weeks ago

It should be investigated why experienced excavation companies were declared not qualified.

They certainly have experience in following requirements when moving dirt and with surveying equipment and so on.

If the trail building had a requirement to not disturb soil outside of the trail then it would have limited the equipment they could use, but I don't see why they should have been disqualified from bidding.

1

rhys jones 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I've got to throw in with Chad and Scott on this one. Sounds like somebody had an inside track on a sweetheart deal, if they wouldn't even maintain the pretense of a fair bidding process.

Maybe it was just good salesmanship. Call a track hoe a New Trail Machine, and now all the greenies will sign on.

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Chad Johnson 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Excellent point on the salesmanship. This New Trail Machine is being viewed as a revolutionary fix to the confined space problem. While I don't have anything this small in our fleet, I can pick up the phone and call about a dozen equipment manufactures and rent a machine this size anytime I want.

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Scott Wedel 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I think being disqualified as a government bidder requires documentation on why the potential bidder is not qualified.

I'd expect that Johnson Excavating and Duckels can request the paperwork on why they were disqualified and why the other bidders were considered qualified.

While they may not have this particular machine, I believe that they do have mini tractors able to move dirt and they have experienced operators. It is far from obvious why excavation companies were disqualified, but others were allowed to bid.

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david gibbs 1 month, 2 weeks ago

The tea party boys in this thread want it both ways. Always wining about big government and seemingly permanently affixed to its teats.

1

john bailey 1 month, 2 weeks ago

what is the plan if for some reason this machine were to tip over ?

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Eric Meyer 1 month, 2 weeks ago

With the tracks at the 36" width, the ST240 can be at a 45 degree angle before tipping over due to its low center of gravity. In the hopefully very unlikely event it does tip over, it has a winch that can be mounted high or low for self recovery (plan for the worst and hope for the best). That is part of the specialized training the operators have completed. The winch in the top position can also be used as a safety tether when operating in places with consequences and the operator can operate it from a safe distance.

1

mark hartless 1 month, 2 weeks ago

And the "green" hypocrites will continue to look the other way on the environmental impacts of all the "mother earth" manicuring with fossil fuel, so long as they get more bike trails.

Let someone propose that one of these future trails be for motorized users (4 wheelers/dirt bikes, etc) and see what happens...

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Eric Meyer 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Motorized trail users will be included in the USFS master planning process. Not every trail will be approved for every use, but I would be surprised if all trail users don't greatly benefit from a better planned and better managed/maintained trail system. That is if everyone involved comes in with and open mind and listens to the needs of the land manangers and the wants of the public. No one group should get all that they want in this process.

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Thomss Steele 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Wow you all need hobbies. Scott is there anything you don't have an opinion on? Get out of the house it's beautiful outside. Damn give those digits a rest.

1

Bob Smith 1 month, 2 weeks ago

hi fred.

hyp·o·crite

/ˈhipəˌkrit/

noun

noun: hypocrite; plural noun: hypocrites

a person who indulges in hypocrisy.

synonyms: pretender, dissembler, deceiver, liar, pietist, sanctimonious person, plaster saint; informalphony, fraud, sham, fake

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john bailey 1 month, 2 weeks ago

and a provider of jobs for people in the area , what do you do Bob?

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mark hartless 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Chad Johnson is, of course, exactly right.

The trend for governmental agencies to tell private individuals and companies what they are and are not qualified for should disturb everyone.

Not only is it presumptious, it also kills competition which ALWAYS raises costs for the taxpayer.

Poor business decision that smells like something even worse...

2

mark hartless 1 month, 2 weeks ago

By providing competetive rates and quality work on the installation of critical municipal and state infrastructure, Fred Duckles helps keep Bob's taxes lower than they would otherwise be.

However, from Bob's comments one might wonder if Bob considers that a good thing or not...

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Mark Ruckman 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Now you are an expert Fred's rates and the competition rates not to mention the quality of the executed work for local and state agencies?

It is almost mind numbing how many experts we have in Steamboat on every subject.

Personally I have no idea about the cost nor quality of work performed by Fred and his company for tax funded agencies. Thus the above comments are not meant to imply there is anything wrong with the work provided, the comments are meant to challenge another local know it all.

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Chad Johnson 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Mark, you touched on the heart of the matter. At this point it's not about wether I got the job or not. It's about preserving the integrity of the bid process. When this process breaks down everyone loses. Then throw in the fact that this was a public bid put out by the City of Steamboat and it becomes scary for all of us, not just dirt contractors or biking enthusiasts. When the bid process fails, monopolies are created, and when monopolies are created prices skyrocket.

1

Mark Ruckman 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Chad, What was wrong with the process or the integrity? They had special requirements (I don't know what those were) and the down selected to 8 people to bid. You weren't on the list of 8.

Where do you come up with "monopoly" when there were 8 parties selected to bid based upon special requirements?

As Eric posted above -the info is right here http://co-steamboatsprings.civicplus.com/bids.aspx?bidID=65

Help me understand how this process is broken? It was public, the RFQ is public, 8 people were invited to bid and a winner was select.

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Chad Johnson 2 weeks, 6 days ago

Hi Mark, part of the issue is none of us really know what the special requirements were. It's my feeling we should have been allowed to at least bid the project. It's a public city bid. It may very well have turned out that I got the drawings and said this project isn't for Johnson Excavation. I'm in know way all broke up that we didn't get the project, but being a contractor and knowing the importance of the competitive process I truly feel the integrity of the process was harmed in this instance.

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mark hartless 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Mark R.

If you don't understand how competition ALWAYS lowers costs and improves quality then almost everyone is going to seem like a "know-it-all" to you.

And, I'm not just a "local" know-it-all... I'm now on the World-wide Web @ www.knowitall.com!!

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rhys jones 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Ain't no expert, but I HAVE run some equipment -- dozers, scrapers, Gannons, bobcats (skidsteers here) never got close to a blade; those are for the really cool operators... 'til the day I flopped a 9-wheel roller -- they said it couldn't be done -- but they took out my access road in my absence, didn't tell me about it, it started caving away, nothing I could do except go for the ride... that flunked me back to shovel. Rocks. Move 'em either in the way, or out of the way, but they couldn't stay where they were. Gayle was an artist with any equipment, could scratch his nose with a backhoe, and we made each other's job easier. It got to be May, Phoenix was getting hot, and I fled before I regained my operator privileges. Ya don't want me, Fred, I'm a loose cannon.

That said -- and contrary to my previous comment -- that IS a really cool piece of gear!!

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Scott Wedel 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Chad and Fred have enough experience with bidding to recognize how this was set up to award the contract to RCR. The city included requirements of having previous experience with one direction single track trails and having managed RMYC work teams. So that eliminates local excavating firms.

And then they get bids from distant qualified firms that have no desire to do this project in order to say there were multiple bids. That is a common enough practice.

But the city could have written the requirements to be the particular skills needed to make a single track trail and the ability to manage large groups of people. And then local excavating companies would have been qualified.

This isn't illegal bid rigging, but it is a pretty obvious case of defining the rules to get the desired result.

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mark hartless 1 month, 2 weeks ago

And here I was thinking only the boardrooms of evil corporations were populated with conniving, corrupted individuals.

Surely Scott is not suggesting that something as good, wise, benevolent, altruistic and non-commercialized as government could ever concieve such a scheme???

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Scott Wedel 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Well, unlike government, evil corporations have to answer to the free market and not lose too much money in their conniving corruption.

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mark hartless 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Should we not expect the same from our government, equal treatment for all those hoping to bid on public projects; no special treatment or protection for targeted groups...??

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Mark Ruckman 1 month, 2 weeks ago

I thought you wanted low cost and efficient, yet you prefer no boundaries on the bidding process mgmt so any person with a shovel & a skid steer should be able to submit a bid to be reviewed.

That is inefficient and you will then be screaming why the gov't needs to raise taxes to cover inefficiencies int he process.

Additionally this would raise likely raise the cost from contractors, if they are spending their time bidding on every project their cost will go up. Think IBM, they chase every possible contract in the world with minimal prequalification. This results in IBM having very high SG&A cost and very expensive bids.

1

mark hartless 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Even as I clicked to post that question I realize the naivete of such expectations.

1

Scott Wedel 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Mark,

When reading Oak Creek's recreational master plan that proposes spending over a million dollars on things like a dog park, campground and seeing prominent quotes like "More people would move to Oak Creek if there were more parks", it finally struck me that government's plans are marketing documents and not anything that any business would use when making decisions.

It takes just a few people at a public meeting to greatly influence government plans because they won't look any deeper into demographic data or even have someone sit at the park for a few days and count how many people are using it. A business proposal would be expected to have supporting data behind a quote being prominently displayed.

So, for SB city, the decision on setting up the bidding process to favor RCR over local excavating companies is not a question of building the best trail at the best price, but whether it is politically popular. With RCR's efforts to get this machine, it became politically impossible for the city to let anyone else win the bid.

1

mark hartless 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Qualifications should NOT be designed to purposefully exclude capable contractors such as Fred Duckles. The man knows whether or not he can build something. Ditto for Mr. Johnson.

Letting more people bid costs taxpayers LESS, not MORE in the long run.

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Chris Hadlock 1 month, 2 weeks ago

You mean like Fred held the cities feet to the fire and forced them to build Gloria Gossard parkway after it was clear the was absolutely no reason to build that road. That bid worked out well for the taxpayer don't you think.

What is missing from this picture is that by purchasing this machine with the investment, they can combine it's use with donated labor for years and build far more trails than any bid structure would ever provide. Yes, the initial bid might have been for a single trail of complex of trails, by purchasing this machine they will be using it to expand the local trail network for years to come.

Fred thinks that this machine is a waste of time and money and that it will prove more expensive in the long run to maintain and operate. Obviously RCR disagrees with his assessment. Local contractors are in the game to make money while RCR is in the game to expand the trail network. This basic difference in their point of view will only be made clear in the rear view mirror.

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Fred Duckels 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Chris, Go back and look at the blogs when the riders approached the city to finance this machine, I laid the problems out then and warned of pitfalls which were obviously blown off. Let me make another prediction, in coming days we will see a horde of "Johnie Come Lately" visionaries riding in on white horses to save the community, and vanquish the ogre. I've been around AWHILE much to the chagrin of many.

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mark hartless 1 month, 2 weeks ago

And here's to their continued chagrin, Fred...

Long may you continue to afflict the comfortable.

Cheers!

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Ken Mauldin 1 month ago

"Crony capitalism is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, or other forms of state interventionism." - wikipedia

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Aryeh Copa 1 month ago

There is a major point being missed here by some. Back country, single-track trails are nothing like bike paths, core trails or sidewalks. Single-track trails do not come with a blueprint and require a significant amount of “field fitting” to best fit into the landscape while doing minimal disturbance to the land and wildlife. Anyone can learn the basics of sustainable trail design, but a great trail requires as much creativity and artistic vision as it does science. And that vision has to be present in the field, during the build, if world class trails are to be the result. There is a reason that there are specialty trail building companies and a reason that most of the pre-qualified bidders for these three small projects, are trail specialists. The reason is that the community wants “world class” single-track, not a road through the forest. Most of the higher dollar projects in the Trails Alliance proposal are precisely the type of projects that local contracting/excavating companies are qualified for and RCR is not. But hiring these companies to build single-track is like hiring a house painter to create a fine art portrait simply because they understand how to mix paint. Of course when the house painter messes up a portrait, you can always hire someone new. If a contractor messes up a back country trail, then there is massive environmental destruction that is expensive and difficult (or impossible) to fix. RCR has vast experience designing, building and maintaining back country trails as well as fixing mistakes and re-routing poorly built trails done by other contractors. RCR purchased a trail machine in order to create world-class trails with the least expense possible to the city and therefore stretching the 2A funds. RCR’s is a non-profit organization who’s motivation is to build and maintain the best possible trails for the community and themselves to enjoy, the motivation is not greed, that is why RCR won the bid, they succeeded in saving the city money by being the lowest bidder. Claiming the bid process was rigged for RCR is laughable and shows either a total lack of knowledge of the bid packet, or an attempt to misinform the public. Wealth is about more then money. You all might try to get outside, away from the computer and hike a mountain and enjoy a trail and maybe discover that you don't need to be rich to live rich in a place like this.

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Scott Wedel 1 month ago

RCR was certainly qualified to bid. As such a wonderful nonprofit then they presumably should have had no problems beating competitive bids from local construction companies and would have won the contract without needing the city's bidding rules to exclude the competition.

Seriously, think that Johnson, Duckels and other local construction companies have not had to cope with varied and challenging requirements? That no one that works for those companies has any experience riding a mountain bike? That they couldn't hire consultants to walk the proposed trail to mark the exact path and how to deal with tricky spots?

Government contracts set up to be essentially no bid contracts awarded to politically favored groups is a very slippery slope. In all likelihood, it will turn out fine this time. In all likelihood, it will be a disaster and a scandal on a future trail.

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