DESOTO COUNTY — The DeSoto County Board of Supervisors has rejected the two lowest bidders for the county’s new $16 million jail.
Instead, citing the specification of having experience in building lockups, the board June 6 chose the third-lowest bid — $13.8 million from Oklahoma-based Flintco. The two lowest bids came from two Mississippi companies — Murphy & Sons of Southhaven with $13.6 million and Panola Construction with $13.7 million.
According to the Commercial Appeal, Murphy managers said they would sue over the specification that bidders had to have built at least two jails costing $8 million or more within the past five years.
Flintco has a Memphis office and a high profile, with work on both Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis and Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto in Southaven, Memphis International Airport ground transportation center and air traffic control tower, along with several jails.
County officials and consultants said the specifications made sense, were within the county’s prerogatives, and to alter them now would be unfair and invite legal action from contractors who didn’t bid based on the jail-experience guidelines.
The Murphy firm lists some $60 million in recent DeSoto County school projects, but a good builder of schools “doesn’t mean they’re good with jails,” said Irb Benjamin of Jackson, jail operations consultant to the county.
A contract has been sent to Flintco for review. The selection becomes official at the supervisors’ next meeting June 27.
Source: Commercial Appeal