Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood refused to issue an opinion to the Jackson City Council on whether Jackson followed the law in issuing a sludge removal contract. What is interesting is that the City Council's request apparently states that the partnership of Denali/Socrates Garrett offered a lower bid. The opinion request states:
In fulfillment of this agreement (EPA consent decree), the City of Jackson advertised a request for proposals for biosolids screening, loading, transportation, and disposal City Project No. 15B050091 pursuant to Section 31-7-13(r) of the Mississippi Code of 1972 as amended. Only two proposals were received.So it seems the Denali offered a higher bid but had the permits to remove and store the waste in Mississippi while Synergo has no MDEQ permits but will instead transport the sludge to Alabama. However, some negotiating brought down the price offered by Denali so it had the lowest bid. The city council twice rejected the bid from Denali.
(1) A proposal in the amount of $16,965,850 from a joint venture from Denali Water Solution LLC & Socrates Garrett Enterprises, Inc.
(2) A proposal in the amount of $15,540,000 from Synagro-WWT, Inc. and Fisher Construction.
Based on the price negotiated and the factors used by the evaluation committee to rate the proposals, the Department of Public Works recommended that the governing authorities contract with Denali/SGE for $15,456,100.
The Attorney General opined that he had no opinion as the EPA consent decree is a question of federal law. The AG only issues opinions on matters of state law. The AG also said that the city council should consult with the municipal attorney on whether it complied with the consent decree and "procurement of contracts" under the consent decree.