From the Minneapolis Tribune:
Council Committee Favors Contract for Lyndale Paving
Members of the City Council committee on paving voted yesterday to recommend tot he council at its next meeting that the General Contracting company be awarded the contract for the paving of Lyndale Avenue south, from Lake street to Thirty-fourth street with bitulithic paving.
Under terms of their bid for the work the company has agreed to complete the work by September 1 at a cost to the City of $4.05 a square yard, to guarantee the work for five years, to do the work under the supervision of the city engineer’s office and to deduct from their total price the valuation of work already done on the street by the city. The original estimate of cost of the work by the city engineer’s office was $4.10 a square yard.
Should the council approve the action taken by the committee yesterday it will be the first time in more than 20 years that the contract system rather than day labor has been used by the city in paving construction.
During discussion of the matter yesterday Alderman J. T. Kean urged that much if not all of the city’s paving work be done under the contract system.
“Under the day labor system Minneapolis is falling far behind other cities int he country,” he declared. “I believe that we should return to the old contract system, if not altogether at least in emergencies such as this where the city under day labor is unable to carry out the paving program arranged for the year. The old contract system fell into disrepute on account of charges of graft. I do not believe in the present day that there is much danger from this source. Certainly there would not be if the awarding of contracts were hedged about by proper precautions and the work done under the supervision of our engineering department.”
Opposition was manifested immediately to any general return to the contracting system.
“I would oppose such action strongly,” declared Alderman J. D. Williams, “but in the present case, which is an emergency matter, and in view of the statement of the engineer’s office that only about half the 1920 paving program can be carried out by the city this year, I am in favor of awarding this particular contract to the General Contracting company and allowing the city to use the materials and labor they would otherwise use on this job on other work to be done this year.”
A motion recommending the award of the contract carried by a vote of four to one.