Grand County’s asphalt decision dismays ‘out of town’ contractor
May 16, 2008
To the Editor:
As an “out of town” contractor, I am saddened and dismayed by the county commissioners’ decision to award a local contractor with a paving contract despite its higher bid.
The bid documents/contract state that the project will be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. Your county commissioners set a sad precedent. New West Paving spent their time, energy and money to prepare a responsible bid only to have the county commissioners make an end run for the local guy. It may feel good right now for the locals, but it’s a shame.
New West (and all the other contractors) played by the rules when it prepared its bid, but now the county commissions have decided to change the rules. It smacks of nepotism. I guess the commissioners are following our legislators in Congress.
If the commissioners were going to change the rules, why even bother having bidding rules and outside bidders? Why not shortlist only local contractors and refuse bids from outside contractors?
I’m sure New West Paving and the other contractors could have spent their time and energy on a bid that they had a chance of winning.
When the word gets out in the construction community that Grand County doesn’t treat all contractors the same and the county starts to see fewer bids (and at higher prices), the county commissioners and taxpayers may have to pay extra to make up the difference.
So, when someone in the county complains about not having a stretch of road fixed or potholes patched, remember that your county commissioners have spent more of your tax money than needed on this project.
Hopefully, the county commissioners will consider their taxpayers and the long-term effects of their decisions on future projects.