ACT Ohio has been assisting the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers deal with the Scioto County Commissioners and some questionable bidding practices on a project to repair the local County Courthouse roof.
It’s just one example of ACT Ohio’s promise to serve as a watch dog for the construction industry throughout Ohio.
Here’s a little background on this case: After the roofing project was declared an emergency, it was awarded to an out-of-state contractor who submitted a 2nd bid of $99,990 – just under the county’s threshold to be considered an emergency award and skip competitive bidding. Just days later, however, the contract was amended and increased $23,000, allegedly due to unforeseen complications.
ACT Ohio considered seeking an injunction and a legal battle, but when it was determined the roofing project would be nearly complete before we could appear before a judge, some alternative steps were proposed.
ACT Ohio worked with the local union to hold the county commissioners responsible for engaging in suspect bidding practices and hiring, and not supporting local contractors. The first step in this campaign was to assist the local union in sharing their concerns through a letter to the county commissioners. The union offered free services of a highly skilled union professional roofer to inspect the out-of-state contractor’s work.
“I believe having a skilled roofer that is a member of our community be a part of that inspection could help alleviate concerns of local residents. I hope you take advantage of our offer,” said Fred Gee, market development representative, in his letter.
According to a Sunday article in the Portsmouth Daily Times, County Commissioner Mike Crabtree called the union’s offer of free roofing inspection assistance, “incompetent and ridiculous.” (Read the entire article here.)
ACT Ohio will continue to advise Fred Gee and the local union with options for follow-up actions. Stay tuned.