First Arriving Network
First Arriving Network

Money For New Fireboat Goes Down the Drain

Bumbling Bureaucrats Botch the Bidding Process

THE SAN FRANCISCO FIRE DEPARTMENT has lost their $7.8 million federal grant for a new "super fireboat" because the city's agency responsible for the design, applications, and bidding process couldn't get the project going before the expiration date.  It would have been the FD's first new fireboat in 50 years.

What it might have looked like  (Jenson Maritime image)

The San Francisco Chronicle reported today:

It all began in late 2009 when the Federal Emergency Management Agency tentatively awarded the city a port security grant for a new boat — provided it got some matching funds.

It wasn’t until January 2011, however, that the feds signed off on the city’s request to use a Chevron grant to help cover the costs. The catch was that, by then, the Fire Department had to have the boat built and ready to go within 2½ years.

The first step was getting a design, a process that apparently had to be aborted when one of the bidders objected to the criteria used to award the contract. It took months to get a new $400,000 contract in place. Then the construction bids went out. But we’re told more undisclosed problems prompted the city to toss out the two bids submitted, and a second round was ordered in February. Recently the new proposals came in, and the winner reportedly came in at $12 million.

The problem: Now there’s no way the 90-foot "super pumper’’ can be built by the end of next month to meet the federal deadline.

"It’s just a huge disappointment," said Fire Commission member Steve Nakajo.

Read the story and more details HERE.

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