From today’s Sentinel:

Injunction filed to halt construction of police building
By Bobby Moore
Staff Writer

Holder Construction Company filed an injunction against the city of Douglasville March 26 in the Superior Court of Douglas County in an attempt to stop the city from moving forward with New South Construction, its choice to build the proposed $23 million public safety and municipal court building.

Holder finished second to New South Construction March 16 when the city awarded the bid for construction of the facility. In a document filed by Holder’s law team with Superior Court Judge Beau McClain’s office, the city is being accused of allegedly committing “violations of state bidding laws and local ordinances.”

“Despite its multiple breaches of the state bidding laws, local ordinances and the express terms of the RFP (requests for proposals) issued by the city, the City Council of Douglasville has selected and indicated the intent to award a public contract that shall be void as a matter of law based upon this flawed selection process,” reads the injunction, which was prepared by lawyer’s from Atlanta-based Troutman Sanders LLP.

According to court documents, Holder accuses that New South was allowed to submit revisions to its proposals prior to the city’s March 16 vote to select a building firm, which came a month after the set Feb. 16 deadline for receipt of proposals.

The injunction alleges that “three unique design and construction aspects of the competitive proposal submitted by the Holder team were discussed and disclosed in great detail to the City Council March 11, almost one month after the New South team had submitted its sealed competitive proposal to the city in accordance with the requirements of the RFP.”

Those elements were, according to court documents, “inclusion of additional usable space in the basement of the municipal court building which was shown to be unused on the preliminary plans provided by the city; the incorporation of additional unoccupied space in the ceiling of the second floor courtroom of the municipal court building which was shown to be unused on the preliminary plans provided by the city; and a detailed breakdown of the costs and scope of the fixtures, furnishings and equipment which were to be incorporated into the completed municipal court building.”

According to the injunction, New South’s alleged changes to their proposal allegedly incorporated the three design elements unique to Holder’s proposal. In addition, Holder alleges that the city’s ad hoc committee for the selection of a building firm “obtained and circulated copies of pleadings in which Holder Construction Company and Cooper Carry Architects Inc. were named parties” sometime between Friday, March 13, and Sunday, March 15.

The document also alleges the ad hoc committee “did not obtain or circulate to members of the City Council and mayor pleadings in which members of the other top ranked teams, including the New South team, were named parties.” According to the injunction, “The actions of the city are causing immediate and irreparable harm to Holder and the residents of the city of Douglasville in that the violations of the state bidding laws and local ordinances will deprive Holder of the benefit of a public contract and further erode public confidence in the competitive bidding process.”

Mayor Mickey Thompson, whose veto of the City Council’s selection of New South was overridden March 24, said he has no comment at this time about Holder’s lawsuit.

“It appears to me a majority of the City Council places a greater value on the urgency to move forward quickly over the need to insure that the process of selecting the construction company was accurate and each company was treated equally,” Thompson said in a statement released March 23 after the council voted to override his veto.

Neither representatives of Holder nor New South could be reached for further comment by deadline yesterday.

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