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Judge postpones Middleton bidding lawsuit ruling

By: Dan Shaw, [email protected]//April 23, 2014//

Judge postpones Middleton bidding lawsuit ruling

By: Dan Shaw, [email protected]//April 23, 2014//

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Dane County Judge Peter Anderson has extended until at least May 5 a temporary restraining order barring the construction of a public works building in Middleton following a daylong hearing in a lawsuit against the city.

The suit stems from Middleton officials’ March 4 decision to award the contract for the building to Madison-based Newcomb Construction Co. even though the contractor had not submitted the lowest bid for the project. In legal filings, city officials argued they chose Newcomb Construction because it was the only company to respond to an option in the bid specifications that allowed for the use of the tilt-up-concrete method of construction.

The Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin filed the lawsuit on behalf of at least one of its members, Fond du Lac-based C.D. Smith Construction Inc., whose bid of $9.34 million was about $59,000 less than Newcomb’s. The association has argued a rebid is in order to ensure taxpayers are protected in accordance with the state public bidding law.

Middleton officials have said they have a contract with Meriter Health Services that requires the city vacate the building by March 1. Matt Fleming, a lawyer representing the city, said Middleton officials are quickly reaching the point when they won’t have enough time to meet that deadline.

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