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New round of slurry and cape sealing ordered
Slurry sealing of streets
More slurry sealing and cape sealing of Ceres streets will commence next week. A total of 11 miles of residential streets will be treated. - photo by JEFF BENZIGER/ Courier file photo

A $820,594 contract was approved by the Ceres City Council last week to begin a new round of cape and slurry seals applied to Ceres streets.

The contract to Pavement Coatings Company will lengthen the pavement life of 11 miles of residential streets. The work is being funded by SB 1 gas tax funds as well as Measure L, the half-cent sales tax being collected for 25 years which was passed by the voters in November 2016.

The city had budgeted $1.15 million for the project but bids came in at about 20 percent less than expected because oil prices have dropped, said City Engineer Daniel Padilla.

The work is expected to begin July 6.

Vice Mayor Linda Ryno expressed fears that funding might not materialize in light of state budget woes caused by sales tax declines due to the economic shutdown associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Padilla said he didn’t foresee any funding hitches but said if that were the case then the city could skip awarding the next round of street sealing.

“We’re being extremely conservative with this project,” Padilla told Ryno.

She said she wasn’t impressed with low bids, saying she wasn’t impressed by the work of the last contractor.

“We know what I think of the last project we had done with the other contractor. He may have been the low bidder; maybe there was a reason he was the low bidder because the job he did – there’s no other way to say but – it sucked. Within 30 days we had cracks in the street, we had weeds growing up and it still hasn’t been resolved. And how much money did we pay them? So just because they’re the low bidder doesn’t necessarily mean that much to me. I just hope that they’re a better contractor than the last one that we used.”

Padilla said the three bidders routinely do business with cities “so they’re not a mom and pop type contractor.” He reminded the council that the slurry seals should not be compared to thick payment overlay. 

“We thought they did a very good job,” said Padilla. “It’s not a perfect job but we thought they did a very good job.”

The council then approved the contract 5-0.