A Lubbock business is suing the City of Lubbock, accusing the city of violating Constitutional rights and the Texas Government Code. The original lawsuit was filed last month, but on Friday the City of Lubbock removed the lawsuit from state court to federal court.
J.R.'s Landscaping and Sprinkler System claims it was the lowest responsible bidder for "Citizen Convenience Stations," which are places to properly dispose of residential waste including used bulky household furniture, used appliances, yard brush, and recycling items. J.R.'s bid was $494,190. In June, the City Council chose a higher bid from Allen Butler Construction for $496,780.
At the time, City Council was told that J.R.'s had not paid one of the suppliers on a $120,000 concrete flat work project for the city. City Council was also told that J.R. had been awarded a city project for fence repairs at Lake Alan Henry and, "This project was never completed."
The Texas Government Code says if a City does not accept the lowest bidder then it must give "notice of the proposed award" and "an opportunity to appear before the governing body ... and present evidence concerning the bidder's responsibility." The lawsuit claims that J.R.'s Landscaping and Sprinkler System was never given such an opportunity.
J.R.'s claims that City of Lubbock public records contain false statements that make it difficult for the business to secure work. J.R.'s also claims it was the City, not the business, that failed to pay for materials on a previous project.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction against the city and money damages.
In court records, the City of Lubbock denies the allegations in a general statement. The City says the "Citizen Convenience Stations" project is funded by user fees, not tax dollars, so different rules apply. The City says the section of Texas Government Code quoted by J.R.'s does not apply.
The Texas Government Code says any and all bids can be rejected, a claim repeated by the City in its defense.
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