Restraining order extended in construction bid dispute

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A judge extended a restraining order Wednesday that keeps the city of Augusta from awarding a multimillion-dollar construction contract.

Superior Court Judge Michael N. Annis also chastised the city's attorneys for earlier misrepresenting the facts about the bids submitted by McKnight Construction and R.W. Allen LLC to build the addition at the Phinizy Road jail.

McKnight sued the city and requested the restraining order last month as the city was poised to give the jail expansion contract to R.W. Allen, although McKnight's bid was nearly $2 million less than R.W. Allen's.

The city responded that McKnight's bid was defective because it did not include a "non-collusion affidavit of contract." Its bid was tossed, and R.W. Allen, with the next lowest bid, was recommended. The city denied McKnight's allegation that R.W. Allen's bid was also defective.

McKnight's attorneys learned this week, however, that they were right: R.W. Allen's affidavit was notarized but never signed, a point attorney Mary Carole Cooney, on behalf of the city, had to admit at Wednesday's hearing.

Ms. Cooney told the judge that city officials will recommend that the commission reject all bids and put the project out to bid again.

McKnight's attorney Jase Ingram conceded that the city commission has the right to reject all current bids, even if it costs the city taxpayers $2 million more. But the commissioners also have the right to decide the better course is to accept McKnight's bid instead, Mr. Ingram said.

Judge Annis ruled to extend the restraining order, which allows administrative work involving the bids and the project to continue, but prohibits commissioners from awarding the bid until McKnight's dispute with the city is settled.

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whynot2
5
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whynot2 08/21/08 - 04:39 am
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If McKnight does end up with

If McKnight does end up with the contract, they will make up the 2 mill with change orders.

NEone
6
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NEone 08/21/08 - 05:11 am
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Or the city will pay 2 mill

Or the city will pay 2 mill in lawyer fees and court costs.

karmakills123
8
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karmakills123 08/21/08 - 06:13 am
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You see KingJames..this is

You see KingJames..this is what I was talking about yesterday......................................................

Little Lamb
50696
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Little Lamb 08/21/08 - 07:09 am
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Geri Sams, city procurement

Geri Sams, city procurement director, goes to churches and clubs all over town to tell her sanctimonious story about how the lawsuit is race-based and how she has NEVER made a mistake in her job. Well, the above story tells us about her first mistake. She rejected McKnight's bid on a technicality but accepted Allen's even though their paperwork was just as flawed. I bet this was not the first time for Ms. Sams.

426Hemi
0
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426Hemi 08/21/08 - 07:14 am
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Geriatric-brained sams is

Geriatric-brained sams is another pitiful excuse as a "public servant." Can we say that word "SERVANT?" Or, is it too demeaning? No, sams go to the back of the bus-NOW!

KingJames
11
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KingJames 08/21/08 - 08:14 am
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KK123, since you mentioned

KK123, since you mentioned yesterday's comment to me I will say something. Everyone knows that city leadership is far from perfect. The leadership actually contributes to the exodus of those with talent and potential. I must say it again though, if the leadership is so terrible, then do something about it. Complaining about taxes won't help the problem. Shooting down every idea for improvement stagnates growth. I joined the Navy and left Augusta in 1991. Everytime I come home I notice improvements in west Augusta, but that's about it. The rest of the city is shutting down. What's wrong with that picture? I have lived in some nice cities like Virginia Beach and some small towns like Beaufort, SC. Even Beaufort is growing, probably because they do think outside the box. Augustans don't think outside the box, possibly because of mismanagement by officials, but that doesn't give everyone in town the right to shoot down every plan to build something new. Death and taxes are two certainties of life. Stop thinking that everything new is going to drive up your taxes. You have to pay taxes anyway. It may as well be for an improvement to the city.

deekster
24
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deekster 08/21/08 - 10:30 am
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Anyone who has gone to either

Anyone who has gone to either Virginia Beach or Beaufort SC would know that the comparison to Disgustia is foolish. Both areas are rich with history, in the case of Virginia Beach to 1607. Beaufort SC was one of the major ports of Emigration in colonial America. They both have "costal access". Both have birant military instalattions. Compare Disgustia to something like Millen of Swainsboro. Just build a "bypass" and forget about it. Oh I forgot, Bobby Jones does that.

deekster
24
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deekster 08/21/08 - 10:31 am
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You can't make a silk purse

You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear unless you live ing China. In China you can feed thousands with a sow's ear or make a Cucci bag.

KingJames
11
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KingJames 08/21/08 - 12:22 pm
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Come on deekster. During the

Come on deekster. During the time that I was stationed in Beaufort there was hardly anything there besides tourism. It was a sleepy little town with only one restaurant open late at night (Hardee's). I visited there about 2 years ago and could really see growth. They are building all over town (even though the entire city is nothing more than a big circle). The comparison comes in when I look at my hometown of Augusta and instead of growth I see where businesses have closed. I was in the Navy with people who said they remembered when VA Beach was mostly farmland (and some parts still are), but VA Beach capitalizes on history, the military, the ocean, and many other things. Augusta could do the same, but obviously doesn't. Are you some kind of rocket scientist who can't see that that's what I was saying about Augusta? The city could really capitalize on something other than golf if the residents would become more open minded.

KingJames
11
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KingJames 08/21/08 - 12:23 pm
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If all you think of Augusta

If all you think of Augusta is that it is disguting enough to be called Disgusta, and that it is a sow's ear, then maybe you are in the wrong city.

LCC0256
827
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LCC0256 08/21/08 - 02:16 pm
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Here is the bottom line..

Here is the bottom line.. look at both of these companies record for QUALITY construction..coupled with owner satisfaction and meeting budget/time restraints... one of these bidders is clearly superior to the other and everyone in this town knows which company that is....award that company the contract....

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