Posted: Jul 17, 2013 12:10 PM
The St. Landry Parish Council has been debating its roadside vegetation spraying contract for nearly a month, and they'll be taking up the issue once again tonight.
According to the minutes of the June 19th meeting, Bill Pondrom, the owner of Brushmasters, addressed the council to complain that his bid had been thrown out despite it being the lowest.
Brushmasters' problem was it has been in business for less than three years and, thus, did not meet bid specifications.
The Public Works Department told him that the contract would be awarded to the second lowest bid from Manco. Manco's bid was $25,000 higher than Brushmasters. The council took issue with this and postponed a vote on the contract until they received all three bid packets from Brushmasters, Manco and Deangelo Brothers, Inc.
The council voted to award the contract to Brushmasters on July 2.
That was rescinded a week later when an attorney questioned the legality of the decision. Although services like this do not have to be acquired by public bid law, once the parish government elects to use a bidding process, it must comply with the law and award a contract to the lowest bidder who meets bid specifications.
They could be in danger of violating that law because Brushmasters did not meet bid specifications. But, neither did the other two bidders. Manco listed three references, but did not include those references' contact information. And Deangelo is located in Ball, La., more than 50 miles from St. Landry Parish.
The council then voted to rebid the contract.