Contract for Rock Hill Law Center expansion hits a snag on local bidder ordinance

Posted March 25, 2013 10:30 pm | Filed under Featured, Local News
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City officials say it is only a Band-aid, but a $1.5 million expansion to the city’s Law Center on Black Street should last for the next decade.

COURTESY CITY OF ROCK HILL

City Council Monday deferred a vote as to who will actually build the new Law Center, after the second-lowest bidder challenged the low bid for the project, invoking the city’s local bidder ordinance.

The ordinance would award the contract at the lowest price, to the local bidder for the project with the next lowest price — in this case, Rock Hill-based Leitner Construction.

Rock Hill City Councilman Kevin Sutton questioned the credentials of the lowest bidder, Southside Builders, which city documents show only applied for a City of Rock Hill business license a week before submitting their bid.

The difference between Southside and Leitner’s bids was, at the most, $14,600.

Sutton says the local bidder preference is about much more than one contract.

City ordinance allows for the lowest local bidder to match the lowest bidder if the difference between both bids is within $25,000.

Deputy City Manager Jimmy Bagley said the Law Center expansion, once underway, will take about a year to finish and will include space for administrative offices, training rooms and courtrooms for both the city police department and court.

The existing Law Center was first opened in the late 1970s.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Southside Builders as Southern Builders. Southern Builders is also a Rock Hill contractor that also operates out of York County, and has done so for the last 34 years.

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