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Dispute Arises Over Fresno 'Pave-Off'

Friday, February 10, 2006

Fresno's "Pave-Off" is officially over, but there's still some dispute over how successful it was.

The year-long competition pitted two private sector contractors against a public works crew to see who could do a better job on infrastructure improvements.

Mayor Alan Autry says it was a success, but it's too early to declare a winner. Several city council members disagree, saying it was poorly organized.

"Awarding these contracts out, the administration is playing Russian roulette with taxpayer money, and it's been a costly, very expensive experiment," said Councilman Henry T. Perea.

City crews finished improvements in their five neighborhoods by the end of September.

The city terminated the contract of one of the private builders, MJ Menefee, in the fall. Menefee crews had finished less than 20% of the work they were assigned in their four neighborhoods.

The other private contractor, Construction Development Systems, still hasn't started work in one of its five neighborhoods. It's also asking the city for an additional $750,000 for drainage work it didn't anticipate.


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