AUGUSTA — A construction firm suing the town of Farmingdale over a sewer contract has filed another legal action against the town, this one involving two contracts which Ellis Construction, Inc., says it should have received as the lowest bidder.

“It is hard to imagine just how the Town of Farmingdale thinks it is being fiscally responsible when it rejects the lowest bid from a qualified contractor,” attorney Walter McKee said via email.

The town’s attorney, Mary Denison, said Tuesday she could not comment on it because she had just received it and had not had a chance to review it with the Board of Selectmen.

In the appeal filed at the Capital Judicial Center, Ellis Construction, which is owned and operated by Christopher and Angenette Ellis, of Farmingdale, says it was a qualified bidder when it submitted a bid of $24,900 — $8,300 for each of three years — for the sewer maintenance contract.

The three selectmen opened three bids for sewer maintenance on Sept. 7, 2016.

Two other contractors also submitted bids. Excalibur, operated by Tony Barry, of Farmingdale, bid a total of $36,000, or $12,000 per year; and Ted Berry Co. bid a total of $63,000, with $20,000 for the first year, $21,000 for the second year and $22,000 for the third year. Those two bids were sent on to the town’s Sewer Committee for review, according to the minutes of the meeting.

Selectman Wayne Kilgore moved to reject the Ellis bid and not forward it, and the two other selectmen concurred.

At that same meeting, selectmen voted 3-0 to reject the roadside mowing bid from Ellis Construction, according to the minutes posted on the town’s website.

Ellis Construction had bid $10,500, or $3,500 per year; Excalibur had bid $11,700 or $3,900 per year, and Crockett Contractors, operated by Bruce Crockett, had bid $11,740, which included $3,780 for the first year and $3,980 for the second and third years.

Again, according to the minutes of the meeting, “(Selectman) Jim Grant said according to the ordinance that they are not required to accept any bid and that he reviewed the code of ordinances and that no reason need be given unless they reject all the bids.” At the same meeting, the board voted to award the bid to Excalibur, effective immediately.

Ellis’ appeal cites the town’s “Competitive Bidding” ordinance, which says, “Except as provided herein, contracts of $5,000 or more, shall be awarded to a qualified bidder making the lowest responsible bid.”

The appeal says, “No exception in the town’s ordinance permitted it to reject Ellis’ qualified low bid.”

Ellis asks a judge to review the town’s actions with regard to the roadside mowing and sewer maintenance contracts, declare them void, and order them awarded to Ellis, along with damages and costs.

Ellis also wants an order prohibiting the town from authorizing others to do the mowing and sewer maintenance work and to order Farmingdale to contract with Ellis for those services.

In March, Ellis Construction sued Farmingdale over a sewer inspection and maintenance contract after it was not renewed for 2015-2016.

Ellis Construction claims it is owed $3,300 plus labor and materials that it would have received beginning in July 2015. The civil lawsuit was filed in superior court in Augusta.

A trial management conference in that case is scheduled for Oct. 27 via telephone.

That dispute comes a few years after controversy erupted in Farmingdale about the town’s winter snowplowing contract with Ellis. In August 2014, the Farmingdale Board of Selectmen and Ellis Construction agreed to terminate their three-year plowing contract after only one year.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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