TRUMBULL COUNTY Question about contractor holds up work on waterline

One county commissioner said he needed to discuss the situation with the parties and officials involved.
WARREN -- Trumbull County commissioners have delayed awarding a $250,000 contract to extend a waterline on King Graves Road because of a question about one contractor's qualifications.
Rhino Excavating & amp; Milling Inc. of Girard offered to do the work for $246,000, about $9,000 less than the next lowest bidder.
However, Lynn, Kittinger & amp; Noble Inc., the county's engineering firm for the project, recommended that commissioners reject Rhino's bid because the firm did not have references willing to vouch for its work on similar projects in the past.
"If they can do business on these projects with the county and the state, I want to know why they aren't here," said Joseph J. Angelo Jr., a county commissioner. "They did give us the best price."
Reason for delay
Angelo said he wanted to delay awarding the contract to the second-lowest bidder, Miller-Yount Paving Co. of Cortland, until he discussed the situation with officials and parties involved.
He said he was concerned Rhino would sue if it is not awarded the contract, and the county might end up paying for the project twice.
Miller-Yount offered to do the work for $255,000.
Robert Tabachino, president of Rhino, said the company had experience and would stand by its work, according to a written account of his conversation with the engineering firm.
Rhino has also fallen five months behind the scheduled completion date on a pump station for the county, the engineer's report said.
The company is a successor to Hardrives Paving, according to the engineer's report. The owner of Hardrives, James R. Sabatine Sr., was convicted of bribing public officials, including ex-congressman James A. Traficant Jr., and filing a false tax return for 1994.

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