TRUMBULL COUNTY Girard bid award prompts objection



The highest bidder by $1,800 has received a contract for the sewer work.
By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
GIRARD -- The Girard Board of Control has awarded a contract to the highest bidder on a project, opening the door to a possible lawsuit.
The three-member controlling board composed of the mayor and safety and service directors has awarded a $26,600 contract to A.P. O'Horo Co. to construct the Heather Avenue sanitary sewer extension.
O'Horo bid $26,600, while M & amp;M Excavating Inc. offered to do the work for $24,800, or $1,800 less.
Mayor James J. Melfi said Wednesday that engineering consultants Burgess & amp; Niple recommended O'Horo be awarded the contract.
M & amp;M's attorney, Robert York of Warren, has filed an objection to rejecting M & amp;M as the lowest and best bidder.
Demands meeting
In a letter Wednesday to the controlling board, York demanded a meeting with the board; Burgess and Niple; Rex Funge, city service director; and David Hall, city engineer.
Melfi said he favored O'Horo, alleging that M & amp;M submitted work change orders while moving a city-owned waterline at state Route 193 and Belmont Avenue. That increased the cost of the project, the mayor said.
The mayor said Law Director Mark Standohar ruled that the controlling board can award contracts to the "lowest and best" bidders.
In this case, Melfi explained, he believes O'Horo submitted the best bid, based on past performance.
O'Horo did much of the rebuilding of the city sewage treatment plant when it was heavily damaged by flooding during last summer's thunderstorms.
In his letter, York asserted that M & amp;M did the waterline project to the satisfaction of Hall, and Hall has given favorable reports of M & amp;M's performance to other consulting engineers on other projects.
York wrote that additional work was required on the waterline project because Hall "did not correctly portray the existing line."
Funge had said he was also concerned because M & amp;M's president, James Matash, served a prison term when caught up in a bidding scandal in Warren.
What happened
Matash is a felon, having been sentenced to a year in prison for unlawfully acquiring a contract to demolish the Regency Hotel on U.S. Route 422 in Warren.
Melfi said that Matash's being a felon didn't play a role in his decision to award the contract to O'Horo.
However, he did assert that Funge's concern about Matash "certainly has merit."
York asserted in his letter that a criminal conviction has nothing to do with performing work in a "timely and workmanlike manner."
Rejection of M & amp;M's bid, York added, is "unlawful and invalidates rejection of the bid, as well as the award of the contract to the higher bidder."
yovich@vindy.com

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