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franklin county times

City accepts water tank bid despite criticism

By By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
May 16, 2001
The Meridian City Council accepted a $1.26 million bid for the construction of a new North Meridian water tank Tuesday night, in spite of criticism that the bidding process wasn't fair.
Before the council voted to accept the bid from Caldwell Tanks of Louisville, Ky., a representative of one of the losing firms told council members the bidding process wasn't fair.
Eric Lamon, director of sales and marketing for Texas-based Landmark, said the bid from Caldwell Tanks did not conform to specifications.
The city's specifications called for the use of six to 12 one-foot sections of concrete in the construction of tank's base, but Caldwell's bid was proposed with four one-foot sections.
Landmark's bid for the construction of the tank was $1.31 million.
City officials told council members all prospective bidders were given the same specifications on which to base their bids. Caldwell Tanks apparently submitted their bid using the four one-foot sections despite the specifications, but received approval for the change because it was cheaper.
Lamon also suggested to council members that the change has the "potential" to cause structural problems when the tank is complete.
City officials refuted that claim saying city engineers have carefully examined the change and do not believe the deviation will cause problems.
Representatives from Caldwell Tanks were also on hand and told council members Landmark had been objecting to their bids throughout the country because they were losing business to them.
Caldwell representatives handed out brochures to council members which touted some of their work, which includes construction of a water tank in Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Company representatives said the one million gallon will be completed on schedule.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3226, or e-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.