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A can of worms.

A Can of Worms

The recent bidding process for the construction of a new chemistry/math/science building at Westark Community College in Fort Smith re-opened a can of worms for Arkansas contractors. The can is commonly labeled the state contractor's Preference Law.

It seems Progressive Contractors of Little Rock was the low bidder by over $100,000. But a northwest Arkansas electrical contractor challenged the award claiming non-qualification of Progressive's electrical sub-contractor.

While a resident here, the sub had not been in business long enough to have paid taxes for the past two years, 1988 and 1989. And there is a question about the form of the submittal. Dotted i's and crossed t's.

This is the first time the law has been challenged because of a sub-contractor.

Rather than allow Progressive to make a substitution, Westark can start the bid process all over or award the contract to the next highest bidder. A decision was being made when we went to press.

While Westark was reportedly pleased with the bids -- they all fell within their budget -- the fact remains these technicalities cost taxpayers dollars. The Associated Builders and Contractors of Arkansas have also voiced their concerns.
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Title Annotation:bidding for the construction of a school building in Arkansas has put on the spot the state's Preference Law.
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Dec 10, 1990
Words:197
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