Battle continues between local construction company and City of Amarillo

Battle continues between local construction company and City of Amarillo

Amarillo, TX - It was a heated ending to Tuesday evening's Amarillo City Council meeting.

During public comment, employees from a company called Advanced Pavement Maintenance spoke out against a road construction project they did two years ago that led to them being sued for $1 Million by the city.

A $280,000 settlement came after what the company calls "economic blackmail."

It all started with a road construction project on Hillside, between Bell and Western Street. Employees say the city engineer instructed the construction company to not use tack coat on the road, a substance that works as a glue to hold layers of the road together.

"We have no choice but to follow his direction, we work for him," said Advanced Pavement Maintenance Owner, Scotty Knutson.

Within 5 months, the city started having problems with the road. Knutson says it was because of the lack of tack coat.

"The two layers of the road didn't stick together and that's why the road looks the way it does today," said Knutson.

Knutson hired a bonding company, which serves as insurance for the city just in case the project wasn't finished. The City of Amarillo sued Advanced Pavement and the bonding company when the road started falling apart.

TxDOT codes state the city is required to do testing on the road everyday during construction, but Knutson said that never happened. When this information was addressed, the bonding company was released from the lawsuit.

Although the city and the construction company ended the legal battle with a settlement, Knutson says it still isn't over.

"The city wants to wipe this under the rug and not have any accountability," said Knutson.

During public comment, Knutson asked for Council Member Brian Eades, City Manager Jarrett Atkinson, and Mayor Paul Harpole to resign. Since this was during public comment, no one on the council was allowed to respond on the spot.

"There are two sides to every story. I haven't heard the other side of the story," Eades said. "It was a lawsuit that was settled quite a long time ago and it's over. So, it makes me wonder what has transpired to bring this bubbling up at this point right now."

The Mayor asked to have a briefing on this incident in two weeks, where the City's Engineering Department can explain more on what exactly happened.

NewsChannel 10 spoke with a few other local construction companies who say they've had similar situations with the City of Amarillo.