After the Dallas County Board of Supervisors approved individual bid packages for the construction of the new Dallas County Law Enforcement Center on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, and on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, BallTeam, an Urbandale-based contractor is seeking a temporary and permanent injunction from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County.
The petition for the injunctions allege that the Board of Supervisors acted illegally when they rejected BallTeam’s all-inclusive bid for all scopes of work on the new Law Enforcement Center, and instead awarded the contracts to 12 separate contractors for each scope of the work.
The petition, which was filed in the Dallas County Court on Jan. 4, alleges that the Board of Supervisors “have begun to award portions of the work for the Project in violation of Iowa law and refuse to stop their illegal and inappropriate actions. Plaintiffs were left with no choice but to seek redress with this Court.”
The petition states that on the Notice to Bidder, Instructions to Bidders and the bid form for the Project said that the contractors were to submit bids for “all work” on the project, and by awarding the bids to the individual contractors, they were in violation of State law.
As a result, BallTeam is seeking injunctive relief, which would nullify any contracts awarded so far, and would prohibit the County from awarding the contract to any contractor, except BallTeam. They are also requesting an immediate temporary injunction to “maintain the status quo” until the Court can hear, understand and decide the issues.
“Construction is not set to begin for months, so maintaining the status quo would cause no harm to the Defendants,” the petition states.
At the meeting on Dec. 19, 2017, three bid packages were presented to the board. One bid was by BallTeam, which included all scopes of the work, including alternates for a total of $17,234,750. Another bid package was from the Lang Group, which included a general package price, and separate prices for masonry, roofing, flashing and accessories, detention equipment, plumbing, electrical communications and utilities.
The third option was the route they went, with individual bids, all by separate contractors. BallTeam’s bid was still about $6 million lower than the previously budgeted price of nearly $23 million.
During the Dec. 19 meeting, Rick Ball, president of BallTeam, expressed his disagreement with the Board’s actions.
“No offense to my colleagues, I think they’ve done a great job trying to bring value to the County,” Ball said. “The reality is, there is only one complete bid on bid day that is inclusive of all scope items, all alternates getting to a true number.”
At that meeting the Board decided to reject all bids for structural steel and rebid. The structural steel bid was later awarded to U.S. Erectors, Inc. at a meeting on Jan. 16, 2018.
“By so acting, Defendants have admitted that previous bidding documents and process followed were flawed,” the petition alleges about the process for rebidding.
During a special meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017, the Board of Supervisors held a lengthy closed session followed by a brief open session to reconsider awarding the bids on an individual basis, but no action was taken at the meeting.
“I guess I felt like we were acting in the best interest of our public, who we represent, which is to seek out the lowest combination of cost for construction of our new Law Enforcement Center,” Supervisor Brad Golightly said.
Golightly and Supervisor Mark Hanson voted “yes” to each individual bid package, while Supervisor Kim Chapman voted “no” each step of the way.
“I respectfully disagree with that decision (to take no action on Dec. 26), but the board has spoken,” Chapman said.
The plaintiffs in the case are listed as BallTeam, LLC and Raymond Karns, a Dallas County taxpayer and Vice President of BallTeam. The attorney’s for the plaintiffs are listed as Brian Patrick Rickert and James William White.
The defendants in the case are listed as Supervisor Kim Chapman, Supervisor Brad Golightly, Supervisor Mark Hanson and the Dallas County Board of Supervisors. The attorneys for the defendants are listed as Hugh James Cain and Brent Hinders.
Two hearings have taken place, one on Jan. 10 and one on Jan. 17, but as of Tuesday, an injunction, temporary or permanent, had not been ordered by Judge Brad McCall, who will preside over the case until completion.