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Low bids for Toledo plant challenged

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The City of Toledo has hit a setback in the process of approving construction for their new sewer plant.

It was announced during the March 3 Toledo City Council meeting the lowest bids for the project, submitted Feb. 20, were being challenged by one of the other 11 bidders on a technicality.

City Engineer Mike Johnson later explained bids from Rotschy Inc., of Vancouver, and Pease and Sons, of Tacoma, were being challenged based on how each company had listed their subcontractors on the bid forms. Both had submitted low bids of $7.4 million and $8 million, respectively, and Rotschy Inc. had been in the running for bid approval by the council that night.

Johnson said his company, Gray & Osborne, has found nothing they consider problematic with the way the bidders in question had filled out the forms, and said the matter has been handed to City Attorney Bill Boehm for consideration. He said, if Boehm determines the bids are correct, the city may move forward with bid approval, but added it is still a contractor’s right to challenge such a finding in court.

Both Johnson and Mayor Jerry Pratt said they expect to have the matter resolved by the council’s next meeting March 17 and for officials to approve the lowest, responsible bidder at that time. Pratt also commented this is somewhat unusual for the city, as far as having a bid challenged, but also noted most projects do not have such large sums of money at stake.

Construction of the new plant is expected to begin later this year and will likely be completed by 2015.

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