Richland County names team to handle Penny Tax program - - Columbia, South Carolina

Richland County names team to handle Penny Tax program


Richland County Council selected its leading team to handle projects funded by the Penny Sales Tax Program during a special called meeting this week.

County Council named its first-ranked team as ICA Engineering, Brownstone Construction, and MB Kahn. The second-ranked team is Civil Engineering Consulting Services (CECS) and the third-ranked team is Infrastructure Consulting and Engineering, according to a county spokeswoman.

ICA Engineering was the County's chosen firm in January, but after it announced its intent to contract with ICA, a protest was filed by CECS. CECS said its proposal to County Council was the most qualified and it should've been chosen. At the time, CECS also claimed ICA was an out-of-state company and should not be awarded the County's contract to manage the program.

ICA said while its headquarters is in Tennessee, it has a local office in Richland County. The protest caused Council to rescind its intent to contract with ICA and post another request for proposals.

CECS' protest also pointed out discrepancies in how Richland County Council conducted the process to review the firms compared to county ordinances. Since January, County Council did update its ordinances to read County Council has full authority to make final decisions on who to award contracts for Penny Sales Tax money and giving Council authority to set size standards for small business enterprise.

"Our entire team is excited and ready to go to work immediately for Richland County," said David Beaty, SC regional manager for ICA Engineering.

Beaty said the team will start ranking projects and setting up the entire system for the program in the next two weeks under a limited contract. In 60 to 90 days, MB Kahn will complete the final contract with Richland County. ICA and Brownstone will be sub-contractors with Kahn.

The County staff will start work with the first-ranked team to move on with the next steps and agreements. If that team doesn't meet the county's requirements, then second-ranked CECS will be able to work with staff and then on to the third-ranked team, if necessary.

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