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.
[¶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 ...