Updated Thu, Feb 27, 2014 11:47 am
A contract for demolition of three houses was awarded Tuesday by the Athens County Commissioners, who opted not to go with the low bidder.
The $16,005 contract was awarded to TAR Construction of Logan, the next-lowest bidder, for houses at 17617 Sylvania Ave. and 418 Poplar St., both in Nelsonville, and 4072 Railroad St. in New Marshfield.
The work is being funded by a grant awarded to the county under the Moving Ohio Forward program. The Ohio Attorney General's Office awards funding for removal of neighborhood blight, with the money coming from a settlement with mortgage servicers accused of abuse and fraud.
Although the contract was awarded the TAR Construction, the low bid of $15,440 came from H&S Contracting of Wellston.
Glen Crippen of Athens-Hocking-Perry Community Action, which administers the Moving Ohio Forward program for the county, recommended rejecting the bid of H&S Contracting. Crippen told the commissioners that a reference check on the company was not satisfactory.
H&S Contracting is currently is a dispute with the Jackson County Commissioners over a Moving Ohio Forward project in that county, and the commissioners there have been holding the company's $10,000 bid bond, the Jackson Times-Journal reported last month.
Harry Sutcliffe, owner of H&S Contracting, was at Tuesday's meeting of Athens County Commissioners.
Sutcliffe asked if he could submit additional information from references, but County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn told the commissioners that bids cannot be supplemented.
Sutcliffe said he could appeal the commissioners' decision not to award him the contract, but would not do so. He asked if he could submit bids on future projects, and was told he is welcome to do so.
Blackburn said the commissioners are required to select the "lowest and best" bid, meaning they can consider factors other than just price.