Thursday, May 14, 2015

Basic IDIQ Defaults on Plaza Park

Don't expect to begin enjoying San Jacinto Park anytime soon. elpasonaturally has learned that the contractor, Basic IDIQ, has defaultied. Item 16.3 on next week's regular City Council agenda simply reads "Discussion and action on the construction of San Jacinto Park." It was placed on the agenda by Rep. Cortney Niland. The park is in her district. There are no back-up materials for this agenda item. Executive Session Item 2 reads "San Jacinto Plaza Redesign, Solicitation No. 2014-043 (551.071)" Again no supporting materials.

Click on "Watch Live San Jacinto Construction" on the city's web site, you will get THIS. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along."

"It's another east side sports park," I heard from several people today.


Reputable El Paso engineers and contractors have been saying that Basic was absolutely the wrong company. The City hired them anyway.

The Department of Engineering was overseeing this project. They could have at any time pulled the plug on the project. They did not. One wonders whether City Manager, Tommy Gonzalez, will still look favorably on Engineering Director, Irene Ramirez. He shouldn't.

At least we saved the trees (or most of them) for now. The question now arises whether the trees will be properly maintained and cared for during what will be a very long time to finish the park.


  1. Wonder if this company is any relation to the bankrupt outfit that wrecked the ridge across from Montecillo, where a movie theater-draft house was to open a month ago.

  2. This is worse than awful news. When will we get the decent looking downtown that we've all been working for?

  3. It's "worse than awful news" if, indeed, the contractor has walked off with the money the city had to spend on the plaza, and the city has no fallback plans other than more taxpayer indebtedness (to finish the project) and/or years of costly litigation just to get a meaningless bond verdict. City government is incredibly difficult sometimes. When a city's staff needs weeding, sometimes these are good opportunities for it. Evidence against someone is more glaring; civil service protection laws less protective. Staffs learning how to "breathe" with a new administrator evolve over time. This could be one of those moments. But that judgement will have to wait 'til after next week's Council action, if any comes on it. That's my guess anyway.