Construction firm voluntarily dismisses lawsuit against Lebanon

Project being bid is to install an 8-inch water line on Pleasant Street.



A local construction firm that filed a lawsuit against the city of Lebanon for not accepting or considering its bid for a water line replacement project has dismissed its litigation voluntarily.

According to the Warren County Clerk of Courts website, KT Holden Construction LLC filed a notice of voluntary dismissal without prejudice in Warren County Common Pleas Court on June 29.

Robert Hanseman, a Dayton-based attorney representing KT Holden Construction, said his client felt they had done as much as they could do as the contract was awarded to another company. He said his client has not determined if they will refile the case. The company’s dismissal notice was filed without prejudice which means if additional facts and information come to light, the case could be refiled in a year.

Hanseman said it was “unfortunate because the taxpayers are paying $76,000 more for the project because of the city’s position.”

Family ties put a wrinkle in a recent bid for a water main replacement project when Lebanon officials did not accept or consider a contractor’s bid to avoid a direct conflict of interest and an appearance of impropriety.

KT Holden Construction filed a lawsuit June 8 in Warren County Common Pleas Court seeking emergency injunctive relief and a declaratory judgment against the city. The company was seeking the contract and said they submitted a bid of $88,787, which was $27,533 below the bid of W.G. Stang LLC of $116,320. The engineer’s estimate for the project was $131,768.

According to court documents, city officials had several communications with KT Holden regarding their legal and ethical concerns about their bid.

A June 8 letter from Joseph C. Pickens, a Dayton attorney representing Lebanon, said the city decided not to consider the bid of KT Holden Construction because the city’s only construction inspector, Hank Holden, is the brother of Tyler Holden, an owner of the construction company. The letter said that decision was made to avoid a direct conflict of interest as Hank Holden would be the person to administer and approve components of the contract.

Although the lawsuit was filed against the city, Lebanon City Council awarded the contract to W.G. Stang as the “lowest and best bid.”

The project is to install an 8-inch water line on Pleasant Street between North Broadway Street and Mechanic Street. The water line will complete the loop in the block and serve future development for the Legacy Landing project. It will also eliminate a section of undersized main. City officials said the project is expected to begin soon and be completed by Sept. 15.

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