Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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May 9, 2013

Parking-job restraining order in effect

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The City of Lockport and a contractor are blocked, temporarily, from proceeding with demolition of the municipal parking garage at Main and Pine streets.

From state Supreme Court, Justice Richard Kloch Sr. signed a temporary restraining order last week at the request of Scott Lawn Yard Inc., which wants a chance to argue that it earned the demolition job.

A hearing on the merits of the company's claim, originally set to take place this morning, has already been put off until May 23 — at the city's request. According to City Attorney John Ottaviano, a needed witness for the city was not available to appear in court today.

The restraining order on demolition work isn't a surprise, according to Ottaviano. "They're fairly common in bidding situations," he said Wednesday.

Empire Dismantlement Corp., which was awarded the parking garage demolition/parking lot construction job, is barred from beginning work while the restraining order is in effect.

The litigation thus puts the job, which was to have started this week, several weeks behind schedule. City officials and Empire agents previously hammered out a 90-day work plan that anticipated an early August wrap on all work including landscaping, according to Mayor Michael Tucker.

Sanborn-based Scott Lawn Yard Inc. is asking Supreme Court to find that it, not Empire Dismantlement, submitted the lowest responsible bid for the parking work. Scott Lawn's unsealed written offer was $190,000 less than Empire's $1.17 million bid, but Scott Lawn missed the 2 p.m. April 5 deadline for submitting offers, city officials said. The Common Council later awarded the job to Empire as the lowest, responsible on-time bidder.

Scott Lawn's suit asserts an employee tried delivering the bid at City Hall an hour before the deadline and was misinformed by a city employee where, exactly, the bid package was supposed to be turned in.

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