JASPER, Tenn. — As workers begin extending Jasper's sewer line to an area known as Shellmound Business Park, two pump stations must be installed along the route.
The Jasper Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted 4-1 to award the installation job to Roy Joe Angel Construction in Pikeville, Tenn., but city leaders expressed displeasure with their choices among bidders.
Gary Cosby, an engineer with CTI Engineers Inc., said Norris Brothers Excavating in Crossville, Tenn., submitted the lowest "base bid," but with two alternate bid options included, Angel Construction had the lowest price at $350,050.
"We've worked with both of those contractors, and there have been issues that have come up with both of them," he said. "The problem is, if I look at the third-lowest bidder, [that price is much higher]."
Alderman Leon Rash, the lone dissenting vote, said there was "no way" he could vote for the bidder.
"We've had a terrible experience with Roy Joe Angel," he said, saying the problem stems from a job Angel was hired to do for Jasper several years ago.
Cosby said the biggest problem on the last job was that the company didn't start working on the project until two months after it was supposed to begin.
Patsy Angel, with Roy Joe Angel Construction, said the problem on that job occurred when the company used a subcontractor.
"That won't happen this time," she said. "We'll do the job, and we'll do a good job."
Mayor Paul Evans was not on the board when the problems with Angel Construction took place, but he attended a meeting where problems with both companies were discussed.
"Based on the $21,000 difference here, and what I was told about the other [company], I would have to recommend Roy Joe Angel Construction for this bid," he said.
Officials said the grant includes a penalty of $500 per day if a construction company doesn't complete the necessary work by a given date.
Board members said any delay would cause a chain reaction of holdups for the construction of a Love's Travel Stop & Country Store near Interstate 24's exit 158.
Evans said Love's is already "moving dirt" in preparation for construction and still plans to open its new facility on July 1.