Crown Street Mall's lighting hopes dim

The only two companies vying for the contract to supply decorative lighting to the Crown Street Mall refurbishment quoted prices above the project's budget, it has been revealed.

Wollongong City Council staff have recommended tenders received from The Lighting Group and 3S Lighting be rejected on the basis both quotes exceeded the budget for lighting in the mall.

Councillors will be asked to endorse the position at tomorrow night's council meeting, the first this year.

However, they will also be asked to allow staff to negotiate with both businesses in a bid to reach an agreed price for the work.

A report to the meeting says both applications were scrutinised by a tender assessment panel before the decision to recommend they be declined was made.

The report did not reveal what budget the council had set for the work.

Liberal Ward 2 councillor Michelle Blicavs said yesterday that she would be supporting the recommendation from the staff.

"This tender was quite technical and unfortunately none of the tenderers were able to meet the requirements we were looking for," she said. "The legislation surrounding the tendering process allows us to enter into negotiations with the companies, and in this case, I believe that's the right course of action."

Cr Blicavs rejected suggestions the budget for the lighting may have been set too low, saying there were plenty of options available to meet all budget requirements.

"I'm still optimistic we can get something amazing for the mall that comes within our budget," she said.

The council will also consider several other matters at tomorrow's meeting including a tender for the first stage of the Grand Pacific Walk, a notice of motion seeking to have the council buy land at Otford for inclusion in the Royal National Park and the Crown Street facade rejuvenation program.

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