- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The St. Mary’s County commissioners selected a new contractor Tuesday to take over work on the stalled Patuxent River Naval Air Museum in Lexington Park.
The board agreed to award Biscayne Contractors of Alexandria, Va., a $4,988,742 contract to finish the job. The contract needs concurrence from the Maryland State Highway Administration because state and federal funds are involved.
The original $4.6 million contract went to Broughton Construction in September 2012 and work began on the museum and visitor center next to Gate 1 of Patuxent River Naval Air Station, but a stop-work order was issued in December when St. Mary’s County government found that Broughton had purchased fraudulent bonds to guarantee the work would be completed.
The next two lowest bidders were considered to pick up where site work left off. Biscayne will “pick up the project as is and take it to completion,” Elaine Kramer, chief financial officer for county government, said. Construction should take about a year once it begins, she said.
“This is a big deal,” said Commissioner Cindy Jones (R).
“This is progress,” Kramer said.
“Do we owe any money to Broughton?” Commissioner Todd Morgan (R) asked.
George Sparling, county attorney, said no, but added that the legal relationship with Broughton “is incomplete.” He said, “I think that still may be an open book.”
“It’s unfortunate this happened, but we were able to work through it,” Jones said.
A staff memorandum prepared for the county commissioners said, “Biscayne Contractors performs work almost exclusively on federal government projects in the National Capital Region and has experience with the federal requirements of this project. They have performed on several thousand construction contracts for federal agencies and the military.”
The project has been more than 15 years in the making with $1.5 million in private donations, $1.2 million from the Maryland government and $3.4 million in federal money. The commissioners added $625,000 to the project in June.