Government
12:33 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Out Of Town Firms Prevail For Streetcar Construction Management

To the disappointment of some contractors' and labor organizations, two out-of-town firms will manage the construction of Kansas City's downtown streetcar line. The battle was over the process.

It wasn't the usual process of lowest price for the most product. Construction management was awarded on a point system with heavy weighting for experience with similar work.  And when the two out-of-town companies won, outcries began.

But Mayor Sly James told a divided council that like a number of other complaints of contracts:  that there were no complaints until a winner was selected.  

"My problem with that is is... if we change our processes every time somebody wins and somebody loses we will have no processes," said Mayor Sly James.

The mayor was also concerned that lost time could raise costs, lose federal grants and result in still another protest of the outcome.

The vote was 8 to 5 to go with the St. Joseph-California team.

The council did instruct the city manager to look into a more structured process with more public input for determining bid processes in the future.

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