After a bidding controversy stalled plans for a new evidence locker in 2013, the Medford Police Department is once again looking for a contractor on the project that's expected to cost more than a half-million dollars.

After a bidding controversy stalled plans for a new evidence locker in 2013, the Medford Police Department is once again looking for a contractor on the project that's expected to cost more than a half-million dollars.

The city has sent out a request for proposals to construct a 2,223-square-foot, two-story storage building at the Police Property Control site in west Medford.

Last year, the project fell apart when other contractors cried foul over the bidding process.

At the time, city staff recommended giving the contract to Adroit Construction Company of Ashland even though the company had the highest bid. The Ausland Group of Medford provided the lowest bid but didn't include the cost of permits in its proposal, while the other companies did.

Last year, a four-member committee rated the proposals, ranking the overall approach to the project with the most points, followed by qualifications of key personnel, then rates and expenses and, finally, the company's project history.

Adroit scored the best on key personnel, overall approach and project history but came in last on rates and expenses.

In the latest request, the city will give the most points to rates and expenses. Overall approach to the project and key personnel will each receive the second highest amount of points, followed by history.

The city is still proposing a so-called "design-build" contract where the city and the contractor would design the project together and attempt to keep costs down or provide additional value in the project.

The city has set a maximum price of $523,400 for the project, which includes design and engineering, site work, construction, landscaping, furnishings, permits, and contingencies.

Proposals will be opened March 6. Once the contract is awarded, the total construction period will be six months.

Medford police say they need the additional space because they are running out of room to store evidence from crimes. In some cases, evidence has to be retained for 50 years or more in violent crimes.

— Damian Mann

Read more in Wednesday's Mail Tribune.