‘We Are Ramping Up:’ Duggans Applauds Expanding COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts, Announces New $30M Toward Prop N Demolition Contracts 

 

Detroit is leading the way in more ways than one when it comes to concerted efforts to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to at-risk Detroiters and also by making huge strides with the Proposal N city ballot initiative.

Today, Mayor Mike Duggan discussed during a press conference both topics and kicked it off by saying that the COVID-19 vaccination site at the TCF Center parking structure is underway with vaccinating about 2,000 residents. Duggan added that he spoke with a President-elect Joe Biden staffer who took notes on the efficiency of Detroit’s vaccine program and will be taking it back to Biden’s camp.

“Detroit is the birthplace of the assembly line and we know in our blood how to run things efficiently,” Duggan said, adding that Detroit paid out of its own pocket for the vaccination rollout and the city will be reimbursed, which is good news to Duggan.

The five categories of those eligible for vaccinations include:

  • Detroiters aged 70 or older
  • Good neighbors 65 or older who drive a 70-year-old to be vaccinated
  • K-12 school teachers and employees and child care workers
  • U.S. Post Office employees who live or work in Detroit
  • Employees of the city of Detroit or city-related agencies who are working on the regular job site

Duggan added that the good neighbor could include an area resident who knows a 70-year-old Detroiter and will drive them to the TCF Center.

Duggan also said that he has heard from many people in other high-risk professions ranging from funeral home employees to non-hospital affiliated healthcare workers to Uber and Lyft drivers who want to be next in the line for the vaccine, too.

“We’re going to evaluate these high-risk categories for the way things are going,” Duggan said. “I expect us to expand eligibility next week.”

Duggan encouraged the individuals who are currently able to get vaccinated to do so now, otherwise the lines will get clogged up with more and more people, especially as their second vaccine date nears and they call to make an appointment.

“I’m saying to you in these five categories, call today and be in line,” Duggan said. “We created this exclusive window for you early to protect you.”

He also said that he encourages Detroiters to call their nearby, or out of state, relatives and friends and tell them that Detroit is leading when it comes to vaccine deployment and COVID-19 response.

“We are ramping up and it is going very smoothly,” he said.

To schedule appointments call 313-230-0505 Monday-Friday from 9 am until 8 pm.

Also, Duggan announced today with the passage of Proposal N, city officials made good on their word that a majority of the work to remove dilapidated homes and areas of blight in Detroit done would be by Detroit companies. Today, that discussion became a reality with the first $30 million in demolition bid contracts recently awarded to seven companies.  All of the companies are small companies headquartered in Detroit; five are Black-owned and one is Black woman-owned.

Also, each of the companies have hired a Detroit workforce of more than 50% to do the work under these contracts, Duggan said.  

The city’s new Demolition Department will be seeking City Council approval to hire the seven Detroit-based or Detroit-headquartered companies to conduct the first 1,380 demolitions paid for through Prop N bond funds, a city press release added.

Next week, the administration will submit to Detroit City Council 23 contracts – each with about 60 properties – for that work. 

Also, each of the companies being recommended to City Council for contracts:

  • Are all certified as Detroit Small Businesses or Micro Businesses
  • Have workforces made up of at least 51% Detroit residents at the time of procurement

The 7 Detroit companies selected through the city’s procurement process are:

A full list of the 1380 properties can be found at www.detroitmi.gov/demolition

“I am happy about the amount of vendor interest we received in this first release of Proposal N demolition properties,” said Chief Procurement Officer Boysie Jackson. “We received more than 180 Bids from a large number of companies – old and new to the program – and the 7 companies selected scored highest in the process.”

Next week, the administration will submit to City Council 23 contracts – each with about 60 properties – for this work. Additionally, each of the companies being recommended to the City Council for contracts:

  • Are all Certified as Detroit Small Businesses or Micro Businesses
  • Have workforces made up of at least 51% Detroit residents at the time of procurement

If the contracts are approved by the end of January, abatement work can begin in February and Detroiters will begin seeing demolitions this spring, Jackson said.

Selected vendors for this round will be notified today and that the city would bid additional properties of similar size every three months.  Jackson added: “Vendors that will not receive awards in this first release will have the opportunity to bid for work in Release 2 and beyond.”

Jackson said that his office and the Demolition Department followed a rigorous process to ensure evaluations were fair. Vendors were pre-qualified based on their capacity and equipment, the bid tabulation process was completed as clearly described in the RFP, and the OCP Compliance and Audit Division audited the bid tabulation and equalization credit results to ensure compliance with the City’s procurement ordinance.

In addition to the resumption of large-scale demolition work, the city will be releasing bids for the first 300 properties that will be cleared out in preparation for future renovation.  Under Proposal N, the City identified up to 6,000 properties that it expected to be able to save through renovations.  New groups of rehab candidate homes will be released approximately every three months, Jackson said.

A large part of the city contracting process is a requirement that more than half of each contractor’s workforce be made up of city of Detroit residents.  In collaboration with the Duggan administration, City Council approved a resolution to support inclusion of Detroit contractors and Detroit residents in Proposal N demolition and rehabilitation work. The procurement process for this round of contracts was completed in line with that Resolution, the City’s Procurement Ordinance and Executive Order 2020-5:

  • A contractor will meet the Workforce Target if Detroit residents account for more than 51% of the hours worked and the contractor pays for its Detroit employees to be trained under a DOL approved apprenticeship program.
  • Equalization credits were applied with goal of 50% packages being won by Detroit Certified Companies
  • 30% of the packages were set aside for small/micro businesses 

Unlike the federal Hardest Hit Fund [HHF] demolitions, which were limited to certain areas of the city based on the density of occupied homes, the city now has the ability to conduct its demolitions in every city neighborhood.  To prioritize based on where demolitions will have the greatest impact, the city used the following criteria for selecting this round of 1,380 demolition targets:

  • Two occupied homes on either side of a blighted property (Occupied-Blighted-Occupied)
  • An occupied home next to a blighted one (Occupied-Blighted)
  • An occupied house is directly between two blighted houses (Blighted-Occupied-Blighted)

“I’m excited to see the lion’s share of demolition and rehab work being done in neighborhoods that were missed by the blight removal efforts of the past.  It’s even better that most of the work is going to Black-owned and Detroit-based contractors. This is a win-win-win for Detroit and another example of how residency has its privileges,” District 3 Councilmember Scott Benson said.

“Our top priorities as policymakers for the City should be improving the wellbeing of our neighborhoods and citizens. Prop N not only works to preserve and provide housing for Detroiters but also jobs by working with Detroit based contractors. Under Council’s purview, we will be ensuring that these demolitions are completed in a safe and timely manner and that priority is given to contractors who are headquartered in Detroit and employ Detroiters. Together, we can rebuild and strengthen our neighborhoods,” Councilmember At Large Janee Ayers added in the press release.

 

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