The Charlotte City Council unanimously approved a $5.06 million contract Monday to Blythe Development for construction of the Eastburn Storm Drainage Improvements project despite concerns that the bid was $600,000 more than a previous bid from the same company for the same project.
The improvements are designed to help alleviate flooding in SouthPark that begin on higher ground in the Sharon Towers retirement community at 5100 Sharon Road.
The city originally considered bids for the project during a Feb. 14 meeting, but Blythe’s winning bid was pulled for review because of questions of affiliation between Blythe and one of its small-business subcontractors. As part of Blythe’s bid, the company had said it would provide 10 percent of the work to small businesses to comply with the city’s small-business opportunity program, according to the city.
That small business was Blythe Bros. Contracting, a company with family ties to Blythe Development.
When the project was rebid, Blythe Development was again the low bidder, but this time it had included other small businesses to meet its 10 percent goal.
Councilman Michael Barnes said there is no additional work in the pricier bid package and it “seems like profit-taking.”
On Monday, the council approved the awarding of the bid to Blythe Development.
“We can build this project and it will help the quality of life for the folks who live in that watershed,” Councilman Andy Dulin said.
Tara Ramsey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.