The Borough Assembly on Monday voted unanimously to deny the appeal filed by Tamico regarding the award of the North Harbor Reconstruction contract to a Ketchikan company.
During an hour-long hearing on Monday, Tamico’s Vice President Jim Martinsen gave testimony regarding the legality of going with a vendor that is outside of Petersburg.
Tamico had submitted the second lowest bid overall, about $100,000 higher than Western Dock and Bridge.
Last month Martinsen sent a letter to Borough Manager Steve Giesbrecht protesting the decision to award the $7 million contract to the Ketchikan company, citing the Borough had prematurely awarded the contract to Western Dock and Bridge, and did not act in the best interest of Borough residents by awarding the contract to an out of town company.
Borough Manager Stephen Giesbrecht also gave sworn testimony saying that the Borough acted within municipal code. However the Borough did admit a mistake in prematurely making the award announcement and recalled the decision.
Martinsen said Tamico paid a fee of $750 to protest the bid award, but added that protesting a contract of this size was just business. “There’s a limited number of these contracts out there,” Martinsen said using one big fish that can make a fisherman’s entire season as an analogy.
Assembly member John Hoag asked Martinsen several questions regarding how he was interpreting contract bidder preference. “I don’t know where you are getting your authority from,” Hoag said. At one point during the hearing, Hoag looked up state codes in a rather hefty law book.
Martinsen cited a Skagway case where a bid protest went to state superior court. The case was ultimately settled out of court.
Borough Acting Mayor Sue Flint called for an executive session to confer with Borough Attorney Jim Brennan over the phone.
Then assembly members voted not to grant the appeal, and to formally award the contract to Western Dock and Bridge.
The Borough, operating previously as a city, has contracted with both Tamico and Western Dock and Bridge in the past with positive results.
The North Harbor Reconstruction project is slated to begin in late summer or early fall.