YOUNGSTOWN Company sues city of Canfield
The suit states that Lyden Oil was the lowest bidder and should have received the city contract.
By IAN HILL
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CANFIELD -- A Youngstown oil company is suing the city of Canfield over a contract.
In the lawsuit, officials from Lyden Oil Co. state that they submitted the lowest bid for a two-year contract to provide gasoline, diesel fuel and motor oil to the city.
Last September, however, city council awarded the contract to Agland Co-Op. Inc., of Lisbon Street in Canfield.
The Ohio Revised Code states that a municipality must enter into a contract for services with the "lowest and best" bidder.
About the suit: The lawsuit asks a judge to award the contract, $12,020 for compensatory damages and $25,000 for punitive damages, to Lyden Oil, at 3711 LeHarps Road.
Canfield City Manager Charles Tieche and Agland Co-Op are also named as defendants in the lawsuit, which was filed Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Contacted on Friday, Tieche said he wasn't aware that the suit had been filed. He said that city council had discussed Lyden Oil's claims in the past and decided not to take the contract away from Agland Co-Op.
The lawsuit states that city council members were confused because the bid from Lyden Oil included the cost of taxes, while Agland's bid did not.
Comparison: Including taxes, the cost of gasoline that would have been supplied by Lyden Oil was 92 cents per gallon. Agland's bid offers gas for 79 cents per gallon, plus tax.
Lyden's bid does not state that taxes are included in the cost.
Tieche said that specifications for the bids did not request companies to include taxes in the cost. Yet he also said that previous bids submitted by Lyden did not include taxes.
As a result, council assumed that Lyden's bid for the gas contract did not include taxes, Tieche said.
Tieche also noted that the revised code tells the city to award the contract to the best bidder as well as the lowest bidder. He said council felt the best-bidder provision allowed them to award the contract to Agland even after the confusion over the taxes was cleared up.
Lyden Oil officials could not be reached to comment.
Tieche said he expected council to speak with the city's attorney before deciding how they would respond to the lawsuit.