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Western Wyoming Construction Co., Inc. v. Board of County Commissioners of Sublette County

Supreme Court of Wyoming

May 21, 2013

WESTERN WYOMING CONSTRUCTION CO., INC., Appellant (Plaintiff),
v.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF SUBLETTE COUNTY, WYOMING, Appellee (Defendant).

Appeal from the District Court of Sublette County The Honorable Marvin L. Tyler, Judge

Representing Appellant: Devon Petersen of Hooper-Strike Law Offices LLC, Lander, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee: Judith Studer of Schwartz, Bon, Walker & Studer, LLC, Casper, Wyoming.

Before KITE, C.J., HILL, BURKE, DAVIS, JJ., and GOLDEN, J., Retired.

KITE, Chief Justice.

[¶1] Western Wyoming Construction Co., Inc. (WWC) submitted a bid for a highway project in Sublette County, Wyoming. The Board of County Commissioners of Sublette County (Commissioners) awarded the contract to another company whose bid was higher than WWC's. WWC filed a complaint in district court for an order awarding it the contract for the project. The Commissioners filed a motion for summary judgment which the district court granted. WWC appeals from the summary judgment order. We reverse and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

ISSUES

[¶2] WWC presents the issue for this Court's consideration as follows:

Whether pursuant to W.S. § 16-6-102(a) it is an abuse of discretion and, therefore, illegal for a Board of County Commissioners to refuse to award a public works contract to the lowest responsible resident bidder on the basis that the next lowest bid is not significantly higher and was submitted by a firm from the same county.

[¶3] The Commissioners restate the issues as follows:

1. Does a Board of County Commissioners have a right to exercise any discretion in awarding a public works contract? Subsumed within the question is the following subpart:
(a) Does Wyo. Stat. Annot. § 16-6-102(a) that allows for a 5% resident preference, foreclose the exercise of discretion in awarding a public works contract between resident bidders?
2. Was [WWC] a "responsible and responsive qualified Bidder" entitled to an award of the contract pursuant to the terms ...

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