Public safety building bid award challenged

A general contracting bidder has filed a suit against the county, alleging the commissioners disregarded the lowest bid submitted for general contracting of the public safety building.

Domenick Scartelli, of Union Dale, and owner of Scartelli Construction Services & General Contracting, Inc., is seeking a preliminary injunction to keep the county from awarding the contract and moving forward with construction until the court makes a determination regarding the validity of the county’s rejection of Scartelli’s bid.

Scartelli submitted a bid of $9,025,200 for general contracting services for the public safety building project on June 10, with a lump sum bid of about $8.7 million, with unit price bids for various items of about $341,200.

According to court documents, following the opening of the bids, Scartelli determined he had made an error in the bid, and asked it be adjusted upward by about $300,000.

The county rejected the request and Scartelli agreed to honor the initial bid amount.

On June 19, the county advised Scartelli that it deemed the bid as nonresponsive and rejected it citing the instruction to bidders that prohibits parties from adding stipulations to the bid; and for being deemed an “unbalanced” bid.

The lawsuit alleges the county failed to take a “full and careful investigation” of Scartelli’s low bid.

The county awarded the general contracting bid for the building project to W.H. Lane, Inc. at a cost of $9,616,300.

Scartelli and Patricia Beynon, who filed the suit, are represented by Edward Seglias, of Cohen Seglias Pallas Greenhall & Furman.

Seglias said he didn’t think that county gave his client’s bid appropriate consideration, under the circumstances. “The question is why would the county want to spend almost $600,000 more when my client stands by his price?”

He also questioned the county’s assertion the bid was not balanced, noting that Scartelli’s bid was only about six percent less than the next lowest bidder.

Seglias said his client does not wish to hold up construction and that is why they immediately brought the request for the preliminary injunction.

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