WINFIELD – The South Putnam Public Service District has been sued by a company that claims its bids for two construction projects were wrongly dismissed.

Eastern States Pump & Equipment Inc. filed the lawsuit April 14 in Putnam Circuit Court.

Eastern States says it was the lowest qualified and responsible bidder on two SPPSD contracts: one for the Raw Water Transmission Main and one for the Kings River Water Main Extensions.

The sealed bids were opened Feb. 9, the suit says. Eastern States says its bid for the first contract was nearly $100,000 lower than the next lowest bid. On the other bid, theirs was about $114,000 lower. The combined difference on the bids was $209,951.61, the suit says.

While the contracts were to be awarded sometime this month, Eastern States president Tom Fellure received a letter from SPPSD counsel Ralph W. Bassett Jr. saying their bids didn't include the proper licenses.

Eastern States says the bid solicitations didn't require these licenses to be submitted. Still, Eastern States says it provided the licenses to the SPPSD before the contracts were awarded.

On March 3, Eastern States served a notice of bid protest and demanded for the award of the contracts.

Eastern States, represented by attorney Carl J. Roncaglione Jr., says the SPPSD improperly and illegally rejected their bids and, thus, destroyed the competitive bidding process. That, the company claims, is a violation of West Virginia Code, state competitive bidding laws and the state AntiTrust Act.

Eastern States seeks temporary restraint and to preliminarily and permanently enjoin the public service district from awarding the contracts.

The company also seeks, as an injured party, to have its losses paid threefold, lost profits, bid preparation costs in addition to attorney fees, court costs and other relief.

Eastern States requests a jury trial.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge O.C. "Hobby" Spaulding.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 06-C-120

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