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Mon, Sept. 23

Editorial: Let's all hope vote is good sign

Let's hope that the Prescott City Council's Tuesday decision to award the Highway 89A/Side Road interchange construction contract to Asphalt Paving & Supply Co. is a hopeful sign.

The contract award coupled with City Attorney Gary Kidd's statement that "fast and furious" negotiations were progressing toward revising the original Granite Dells Estates development agreement and settling the lawsuit Asphalt Paving & Supply filed after Granite Dells Estates threw out its original low bid on the job both indicate things are headed the right way.

AP&S sued because the other bidder on the contract was Fann Contracting Inc., whose owner, Mike Fann, also is the principal of Granite Dells Estates.

Fann said he rejected both bids because AP&S lacked a necessary prequalification to do the work. The city and Arizona Department of Transportation disagreed and said AP&S was the lowest responsible and responsive bidder.

After Tuesday's vote, Fann said if the city directs him to award the contract to AP&S, he will, but the city will have to amend the original development agreement. The original development agreement is the root of all the problems. When the city voted to annex the Granite Dells area, the city overcame a potential deal-killer on the annexation by giving Granite Dells Estates authority to award contracts on necessary infrastructure as the needs arose, rather than the city having to build streets and entrances immediately that may sit unused for years before the developer actually built houses.

It now appears that the parties are close to achieving the best result for all.

First, the parties need to settle the lawsuit before this becomes the most expensive project in city history.

Second, the city needs to revise the agreement to take back responsibility for awarding contracts to prevent a mess like this from coming up again.

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