HANFORD — The bid that had been accepted by Kings County to expand and remodel the branch jail to include the Kings County Juvenile Center has been rejected after, among other issues, the contractor did not respond to protests to the bid.

With a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Kings County Board of Supervisors rescinded the award to Fresno-based Katch Environmental, Inc., and awarded it to Bowe Contractors, Inc. of  Lancaster for $16.52 million.

According to Kings County Administrative Office Analyst Domingo Cruz, Katch Environmental was awarded the contract on April 27. The next day, Katch received two protests: Katch failed to list subcontractors whose work would constitute over .5% of the cost of the project; and failed to list the amounts of other bidders as required.

Cruz said the county sent a letter outlining the protests to Katch Environmental, Inc. They responded two days later, but Cruz said the letter didn’t address the complaints. He added that a further review of their paperwork resulted in another find that would separately render the bid invalid.

“Its declaration of non-collusion, which acts as the county’s assurance from the contractor that its bid is not being made of unnamed parties, is not a sham, and is not the result of a conspiracy to fix the bid price, was not signed by the same individual that signed the bid,” Cruz said.

In order to be awarded the bid, both documents need to have the same signer.

The total cost of the project is expected to be over $20 million and construction is projected to begin on July 27. The state will provide $9.6 million through Senate Bill 81.

The Hanford Sentinel reached out to Katch Environmental for comment, but they did not respond by press time.

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