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Brannum v. City of Poplar Bluff

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, First Division

August 27, 2014

CHARLES BRANNUM and CHRIS BROWNING, Plaintiffs,
v.
CITY OF POPLAR BLUFF, MISSOURI, Defendant/Respondent and CSE ENTERPRISES, LLC, Plaintiff/Appellant,

Page 826

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF BUTLER COUNTY. Honorable Michael M. Pritchett, Circuit Judge.

For Appellant: Scott A. Robbins, of Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

For Respondent: Wallace L. Duncan, of Poplar Bluff, Missouri.

WILLIAM W. FRANCIS, JR., P.J./C.J. - OPINION AUTHOR. JEFFREY W. BATES, J. - Concurs. DANIEL E. SCOTT, J. - Concurs in Separate Concurring Opinion.

OPINION

Page 827

WILLIAM W. FRANCIS, JR., P.J./C.J.

CSE Enterprises, LLC (" CSE" ) appeals the judgment[1] of the trial court concluding CSE was not entitled to an extraordinary writ (1) ordering the City of Poplar Bluff (" City" ) to award a contract for work on City's electrical generation plant to CSE, or (2) ordering City to rebid the contract at issue. We affirm the trial court's judgment.

Factual and Procedural History[2]

City, through its Municipal Utilities Division, owns and operates an electrical generation plant. The plant operates under Environmental Protection Agency (" EPA" ) regulations known collectively as " Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants" or " RICE NESHAP." [3]

In 2013, City began efforts to bring the plant into compliance with the RICE NESHAP standards prior to an EPA imposed deadline of May 2, 2014.

Bidding Process and City Evaluations

City sent requests for bids[4] to at least five contractors, including Fairbanks Morse Engine (" Fairbanks" ), which designed several of City's plant engines, and an advertisement for bids was placed in a newspaper. In response, City received three bid proposals: CSE's bid of $735,500; Fairbanks' bid of $983,072; and Farabee Mechanical, Inc.'s (" Farabee" ) bid of $1,050,567.

In reviewing the submitted bids Neal Williams (" Williams" ), Systems Operations Supervisor for City, determined that none of the bids met all of City's bid specifications. On March 14, 2013, Williams sent an email to all bidders inviting them to contact City with corrections or supplements to their bids. CSE and Fairbanks both contacted City regarding their bids in response to Williams' email.

Thereafter, Williams created a summary sheet rating the respective bids according to bid specifications, schedule of completion, price, experience, and past working relationship with City. The evaluation also contained determinations concerning the bidders' listed and unlisted exceptions to the specifications.

Page 828

Williams ranked Fairbanks first for each of the five categories except for price. Out of the three bids, Williams ranked CSE third for conformance with specifications, second on schedule, and third on experience. He left the category for " ease of working together" blank for CSE and Farabee as City had no experience with these firms; however, ...


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