As previously reported on KNIA/KRLS news formal appeals have been submitted to the VA Central Iowa Health Care System in Des Moines in regards to the ground maintenance contract recently awarded for mowing services for the Knoxville campus. KNIA/KRLS news has been attempting to contact VA officials for comment and finally received a response. Lisa Christy, with VA Public Relations says the government has its own way of figuring out job costs and the bid by Crossroads Hall best reflected knowledge of the scope of work involved with the contract. We also asked Christy if it was a coincidence that Brenda Davis, owner of Crossroads Hall shared the same name as Sarah Davis, the Contracting Officer for the project – she said yes, the two women share no relation. Christy was also asked if the contract was awarded to Crossroads because it was the only bidder with a woman as the sole proprietor and she said that did not enter into the equation. Several other local businesses expressed concern about the lack of mowing experience of the workers at Crossroads Hall and Christy said having never performed a particular job before does not count against a bidder as the most important factor was the knowledge of the scope of work involved.
Another losing contractor, who wished to not be named, tells KNIA/KRLS news it was made clear at a pre-bid meeting that the grounds maintenance contract may not be awarded to the lowest bidder.