By Conor CULLEN
Wednesday January 14 2009
WEXFORD County Council could save a lot of money as a result of a hiccup in the tendering process for the new County Library, it was claimed on Monday.
Construction work was due to start this month but has been put back after the Department of Finance rejected the tender accepted by Wexford County Council because the contract was submitted in an old format.
The successful building contractor was given the option of tendering again in the new fixed price form required by the Department but turned it down so the project now has to go to tender again.
In the meantime, the cordoned-off site at Mallin Street is to be re-surfaced at a cost of ¤35,000 and used as a public car park again.
'It didn't work out, but I put no blame on the contractor, these things are quite complex,' said Director of Services Tony Larkin at Monday's meeting of the local authority.
Mr. Larkin said that he expected the project to be back out to tender quite quickly and contractors on site 'over summer'.
He encouraged the Councillors to look for 'the rainbow after the shower', saying that 'the job may be re-tendered for a very reasonable price'.
Mr. Larkin said that in the current economic climate the County Council had found tendering processes are becoming extremely competitive, which is reflected in the projected prices. 'We've lost a few months, but financially it could work to our advantage,' said Mr. Larkin.
The question of when the library would be ready was raised by Cllr. Fergie Kehoe, who felt that if the funds were no longer available or the Mallin Street project, it should be incorporated into County Hall.
However, he was assured the funds were still there and the project would proceed as quickly as possible.