Cumberland Times-News

Local News

July 14, 2014

County decides to redesign, rebid shell building at Barton park

Frostburg company was low bidder but didn’t get job

— RAWLINGS — Following a protest by a local construction company, the Allegany County commissioners have chosen to redesign a 40,000-square-foot shell building project at the Barton Industrial Park and rebid it later this year.

Commissioner Creade Brodie made the announcement during the group’s public meeting on Thursday, saying it was at the advice of legal counsel.

“The award of the bid to Belt Construction will be rescinded. The project will be redesigned and put out again for bids in the fall,” Brodie said.

Following the award of the $3 million-plus job to the Belt company in June, Gary Imes, owner of Lashley Construction of Frostburg, hired Thomas & Libowitz, P.A., a Baltimore law firm, to pursue the protest.

“Lashley was the lowest responsible bidder, yet its bid was rejected in violation of Allegany County Code and state law,” wrote attorney Francis Laws in a June 11 letter to County Attorney William Rudd. “The county code requires that public construction contracts in excess of $25,000 be circulated for public bidding and awarded to the lowest responsible bidder,” Laws said.

The Barton park is located slightly south of the intersection of state Route 956 and U.S. Route 220 and is zoned for industrial use. It has about 100 acres available for development. The county wants to construct the shell building as an enticement for a business to locate there.

American Woodmark Corp. is the sole business at the park. The company opened a 250,000-square-foot assembly facility in 2004.

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