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Contractor protests MMSD pipeline low bid

By Sean Ryan

Joel Kennedy Constructing Corp., a runner-up on the bidding for the Milwaukee Metropolitan District’s methane pipeline project, on Monday asked the district to reject the lowest bid.

But Kennedy Constructing, Waukegan, Ill., argued that low bidder Meade Electric Co. Inc., McCook, Ill., does not comply with MMSD bidding rules governing minority- and women-owned business participation.

The contract is to build a pipeline to transfer methane gas from the Emerald Park Landfill in Muskego to Milwaukee, where the gas will be burned to power the district’s Jones Island sewer treatment plant. The district asked contractors to submit two bids for the project. One is for a 19-mile pipeline, and the second for a shorter alternate route where the district would buy and use an existing pipe for a portion of the segment instead of building new pipe.

Meade was the lowest for both proposals, offering $29.3 million for the longer route and $16.9 million for the shorter. Kennedy bid $20.2 million for the shorter alternative.

Meade Electric’s bid does not include any subcontractors certified as women-owned business enterprises, according to a May 10 letter from Kennedy Constructing attorney Aaron Kastens of Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, Milwaukee. Meade’s bid did not include any signed letters from WBE, small business enterprise and minority business enterprise contractors, according to the letter.

The MMSD Commission was to consider awarding the contract on Monday, but will delay its decision until May 24 after receiving the protest on Monday morning, said Bill Graffin, MMSD spokesman.

“Our legal staff will be looking at it,” he said of the letter.

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