What's News in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

Union Picketers
Over the past month, the Carpenters Union has protested the contract with Neuman Pools, because Neuman is a non-union contractor. On August 3, 2009, the Village of Pleasant Prairie awarded a contract to Neuman Pools for the construction of a new competition pool at RecPlex. The contract awarded to Neuman was only one of several awarded as part of the entire pool project. The Neuman contract represents only 16% of the total work for the project.

Between eight and ten Neuman Pools non-union workers are working at the RecPlex pool construction site per day. This number is in contrast to between 40 and 50 other union workers that are working at the site each day.

Some of the other major union contractors working on the project (along with their contract amount) include: Riley Construction ($442,784), J.F. Ahern ($1,832,300), Becker Electric ($530,000), Cardinal Fabricating ($655,830), Midstates Precast ($411,652), DK Contractors ($242,923), Joe DeBelak ($363,927), Klein Dickert Glass ($439,000), Thomas A. Mason Co. ($179,917), Lippert ($291,480), Great Lakes ($102,681), Cicchini ($176,970), Interstate Drywall ($89,538), and Uttech Roofing ($228,750).

It is Village policy, when awarding bids, to select the lowest responsible bid that is submitted in accordance with the requirements outlined in the Village’s request. The Village bases its bid review and acceptance policy on State law, which requires the Village to ensure that the company (selected for the job) pays its workers the State Prevailing Wage. The purpose of the State Prevailing Wage law is explained by the Department of Workforce Development in the following words.

“These laws were enacted to discourage the awarding of public works contracts to employers who frequently underbid local employers by paying their workers substantially less than normally received by workers in an area. Governmental agencies were precluded from awarding contracts exclusively to local employers because various bid laws required that most public works contracts be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. As wages were the most controllable factor in the bidding process, workers were put in the precarious position of having their wages manipulated by their employer. This problem created instability in the local construction industry. Prevailing wage rate laws were enacted to provide a partial solution to this problem.”

For the swimming pool component of the project, five companies bid to complete the work. Of the five companies, none were local.

The five companies considered for the work and their bids were: Maverick Pools $2,200,000; Badger Swimpool $2,121,600; B&E Aquatics $1,949,192; Mechanical Inc $1,695,000; and Neuman Pools $1,498,400. The Village selected Neuman Pools to complete the work at RecPlex because they submitted the lowest responsible bid by nearly $200,000, and they pay their workers the State Prevailing Wage.

“This project, along with many others in LakeView Corporate Park and throughout the Village, represents a significant amount of construction work that the trades have had access to,” explained Village President John Steinbrink Sr. “The Village will continue work to bring in more projects and the jobs that go with them in the future.”

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