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Cadiz finalizes contractor for water upgrades

Low bidder’s lawyer unhappy with decision

CADIZ — The Village of Cadiz hired a contractor to perform upgrades to its water treatment facility on the recommendation of its hired engineering company Thursday evening, but another contracting firm voiced opposition to the final decision.

Cadiz Village Council signed an emergency ordinance naming Kirk Brothers of Findlay, Ohio, the contractor of the Water Treatment Plant HAB Improvement project during Thursday’s regular meeting held via teleconference. Three contractors submitted bids for the project last month — Stanley Miller Construction for $2,788,000; Kirk Brothers for $2,337,000; and Border Patrol for $2,327,519. Only two of the three bids were under the initial estimate of $2.4 million.

CT Consultants, an engineering firm retained by the village to aid in the plant’s upgrades, made the recommendation to hire Kirk Brothers Co., the contractor who was the second lowest of three bids opened during council’s previous meeting. CT Consultants Principal Engineer Dan Barr said the choice was made based on the contractor’s prior knowledge and experience with water facilities.

Mayor John Migliore read the emergency ordinance approving the hiring of Kirk Brothers at Thursday’s meeting. Councilman Eric Miller made a motion to suspend the rules and have the second and third readings; Councilman Terry Capers seconded the motion. Council unanimously approved the hiring and the motion carried.

However toward the end of the meeting when Migliore asked if there were any public comments, Richard Sax, an attorney for Border Patrol, spoke up.

“Border Patrol was the low bid for this project that was voted on tonight and frankly we’re left scratching our heads as to what’s going on here,” Sax said. “I’ll start by asking the council members what changed over the last 24 hours, because as far as we knew five of you were ready to vote for Border Patrol.”

Sax then accused Village Administrator Ted Andrzejewski of being in “somebody’s pocket.”

“When you’re sued, you’ll be under oath and you’ll be answering these questions at some point. This is ridiculous. … There’s a gentleman in your backyard (Border Patrol is based in Hopedale) that is more than qualified who’s the low bidder.

Sax then mentioned a potential lawsuit due to the “slander” of his clients that he said resulted from a letter the village allegedly received that said Border Patrol was not qualified for the job.

“Five council members were voting for him (Border Patrol) to get this project and then you get this letter from this (individual) who has no idea and done no investigation about my client, and he’s telling council members that my client is not qualified to do this work. That’s slander … . That’s tortious interference of contractual relations. So we want some answers,” Sax said.

Solicitor Costa Mastros said because a lawsuit was brought up by Sax he advised members of council to not answer any further questions.

“I guess at this point since a lawsuit was threatened or at least brought up, I don’t want to say threatened, it was at least brought up. I’m going to tell my clients to not answer any questions at this point. The only thing I would say is that the vote occured and I can’t tell you anymore than that,” Mastros said.

Sax then said Andrzejewski “threatened” council that there would not be any funding opportunities from the Environmental Protection Agency if the vote did not happen Thursday.

“There’s collusion happening and we’re going to get to the bottom of it,” he said.

Council members followed the advice of Mastros and did not comment further on the matter.

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