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Bid protest stops work on Birds Point levee

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

(Photo)
Floodwater covers the farmland in the Birds Point-New Madrid floodway Monday, May 9, 2011.
(Laura Simon) [Order this photo]
WYATT, Mo. -- An Oklahoma company's protest will further delay work to bring the Birds Point levee back up to its height before last year's intentional breach by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to alleviate flooding.

Once a protest is filed, federal law requires work to stop until the corps reviews it and reaches a decision. It's not known how long the review will take. A similar protest filed with the corps for emergency repairs made to the levee last fall delayed the project for weeks.

"It's necessary that it be a very thorough process. We'll work as expeditiously as possible," said Jim Pogue, spokesman for the corps' Memphis District.

A&M Engineering & Environmental Services of Tulsa, Okla., is protesting the award of $20 million in contracts to three other companies that were ready to begin work to restore the first breach site to a height of 55 feet.

Young's General Contracting of Poplar Bluff, Mo.; Kingridge Enterprises Inc. of Little Rock, Ark.; and Harold Coffey Construction Co. of Hickman, Ky., had already been given a notice from the corps to proceed on the project.

A&M is protesting the type of contract the government selected -- a multiple award task order contract -- and the government's evaluation of its proposal, Pogue said.

David Cooper, spokesman for A&M, declined to discuss the bid protest, he said, out of professional courtesy to the corps. The company has done work for the corps in other locations, including Oklahoma, he said.

Multiple award task order contracts are a little unusual, Pogue said, but have been used on large projects, including repairs in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

"For a really huge job like this, it allows us to bring in several different contractors, and each one of those bid on specific task orders" within the contract, Pogue said.

Only the bids for the first of six task orders have been awarded at this point. Bids are being accepted now on the second task order, he said. The first three orders are for work to bring each breach site to 55 feet. The final three orders are to bring each breach site to their original height of 62.5 feet.

The corps breached the Birds Point levee last spring in an effort to lower the water level on the Mississippi River. The plan also flooded 130,000 acres of farmland and several dozen homes.

Now that a protest has been filed, contracting staff in Memphis will review A&M's bid package and then make a recommendation to legal counsel with the corps' Mississippi Valley Division in Vicksburg, Miss. After that, the division legal counsel will make a determination on the merits of the protest, Pogue said.

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson said that while she understands the need for openness and fairness when government contracts are awarded, she is concerned about any further delay on the project.

"I hope the situation will be rectified quickly so we can continue the work necessary to restore our levees to their fully authorized heights," she said. "I remain committed to this goal, and I expect the corps to move at full speed to accomplish the mission for the people of Mississippi and New Madrid counties."

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

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Wyatt, MO


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Actual levee rebuilding work at the upper break ended late last year.....We've had 3 exceptionally dry months this Spring with virtually no dirt moving to the Birds Point levee. This project could have been almost completed by now if we had responsible leaders.

Big Government at it's frustrating best !

-- Posted by greeneagle5 on Tue, Jun 19, 2012, at 8:13 PM

Some more Gov crap, and we wonder why this country is in the shape it is in.

-- Posted by ssinteriors on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 7:06 AM

This is not acceptable. The good people in and near the Birdspoint floodway deserve better. We have wasted millions of taxpayer dollars and over a year of precious time. There is NO LEVEE protecting the farmers and people trying to live and make a living in this area. The frustration level on this is off the charts.

Bob Parker

-- Posted by electbobparker.com on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 8:56 AM

Bob, why don't you share with us how you would handle this situation. I can't wait to hear.

-- Posted by Tom B. on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 9:25 AM

Are we waiting for another flood?? I believe these families have suffered enough. It's time to stop the nonsense and get to work. What happened to our elected officials? Are they listening, and aren't they elected to go to bat for our district? Save these hard working farmers from another devastating disaster.

-- Posted by conservative4real on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 9:30 AM

this just in... cairo is still a craphole

-- Posted by TommyStix on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 11:28 AM

MY elected officials have worked their tails off on this levee. It should be no mistake that is not a holdup due to poor leadership, it is due to the corp.

Shame on those trying to campaign on this. Ahem.. Bob Parker..

-- Posted by SterlingCooper on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 11:58 AM

I am still wondering what Bob's plans are? Why has he not responded. He is so quick to point a finger but doesn't have any plans of his own. He is never going to have a plan because he does not even know he the process work. He do not know any of the regulations the Corps must us in their bidding process. I live in the floodway area and I think our elected officials have done a wonder job. They are in our area at least once a week wanting to know what else they can do to help.

-- Posted by Tom B. on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 2:00 PM

Why are we worrying about protecting the farmers in this area? The better question should be why are farmers moving back in to an area that could be flooded out again? Birds Point is still part of a national flood plain. If farmers move back in to that area to farm, they are farming at their own risk, just as they were before the Birds Point plan was executed.

How many times do taxpayers have to pay farmers for the land/crops of this area? They are farming on highly fertile land. That's because they are farming in the old Mississippi River bed.

I think people that live in that area should be living there at their own risk.

-- Posted by SEMissouri70 on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 3:22 PM

-SEMissouri70-

They will move back in because the benefits out way the risk, and taxpayers have to deal with it because we are the consumers of their products. 140,000 acres of pure prime farmland...that is what, almost 22 million bushels of corn? Not saying that is the only thing grown on the property, however imagine how much the price of food could possible go up if all farmers decided to just not take the risk of locating in floodzones.

-- Posted by Sem0gal on Wed, Jun 20, 2012, at 4:05 PM

Remember that Congress funds these agencies of the Federal government. They approve or disapprove budgets and when a Congressman confronts an agency on their wastefulness or lack of proper action, it is addressed. Most of the time our current representative has said she would contact and simply has not. (Except for when she pushed the USDA to approve poisonous gmo alfalfa on farmers across the country) I am sure Bob would publicly pressure the agency.

Maybe that gives you an idea of how Bob would act in the position currently held by Emerson.

-- Posted by Dreen on Thu, Jun 21, 2012, at 7:43 AM

Hey, Bob "I never lie" Parker:

There IS a levee protecting the farmers. The money spent built that levee. That levee will now be the base for a new levee. Stop campaigning on a tragedy that you clearly know nothing about. Your ignorance is scary! I would urge you to talk to a levee board or a county commissioner. Then, you could still lie, but at least you would have the facts. Oh yeah, and if not for our Congresswoman, the Corps would still be doing studies. See, that is called letting your actions speak for themselves. Something you know nothing about. Keep barking...

-- Posted by LeveeMan on Thu, Jun 21, 2012, at 9:29 AM

Mrs. Emerson's actions clearly do speak for themselves...

Repealed Glass Steagal Act that allowed the Banks and Wall Street to destroy our economy.

Once said economy was wrecked Mrs. Emerson voted twice to Bailout the institutions that caused the crisis and that made trillions doing it and put the losses on US Taxpayers.

Claims to be Pro Life and even has the endorsement of Missouri Right to life but has voted twice for taxpayer funded embryonic stem cell research making us all culpable in that crime you can watch the video of it here where Jo Ann laughs and laughs about being a "Token Pro Life Republican"

http://youtu.be/M83CfjpQybU

Jo Ann is happy to vote away our right to "due process under the Law" with her doubled down vote on the NDAA

http://youtu.be/f1X0ei9F6NA

http://youtu.be/X2QzPDEExHo

She voted to bailout and Nationalize General Motors that one of her Daughters is a Lobbyist for and who donate heavily to her campaign. That cost us over 80 Billion.

She voted for the Failed "Cash for Clunkers" program that her daughter and GM benefited the most from...that failed program cost us over 50 Billion

The Vast majority of Jo Ann Emerson's campaign contributions come from Lobbyists, Unions, and special interest groups like Many of the Unions her husband of 12 years Ron Gladney represents as a high powered Union Attorney and Former Union lobbyist.

Here are the top contributors to Emerson's campaign. Who do you think she'll represent??? Look at her record...It's not the people...

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/i...

This would explain why Mrs. Emerson would not support right to work legislation and also why she is one of just 9 Republicans to support a BAILOUT of Union Pension funds via the Taxpayers that if passed will cost us an addition estimated 165 Billion Dollars.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl8GzZhUL...

She helped further erode the Constitutional Right to Protest and Free Speech by her vote for HR347 which would make such Formerly protected first amendment rights a Felony Crime punishable by 10 years in prison and a felony conviction.

One of her most puzzling actions to me other than voting for stem cell research while claiming to be a Right to Life candidate is her Donation to the reelection campaign of the Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. No Republican whether claiming to be conservative or not would ever have done such a thing...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cF57wSf2M...

Yea, LeveeMan Jo Ann's actions speak very clearly that she is a complete Republican in Name Only and has been in the House way too long and truly has become "Someone we Used to know"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8T3qDnFj...

There is a true Conservative Candidate Running against Mrs. Emerson. Bob Parker will fight for our District and our Conservative Pro Life, Pro 2nd Amendment, Pro Constitutional Values that we hold.

DO your own research and vote your conscience in the Primary Election on August 7th. There is a real Conservative choice and that is Bob Parker.

http://www.electbobparker.com/

-- Posted by ddshea on Thu, Jun 21, 2012, at 7:17 PM

I see you didn't comment on the FACT that Bob Lied about the levee. Just keep drinking the Kool Aid, Dirk and try to stay on point. This is about our levee and our lives. Something you and Bobby have no respect for and know nothing about.

-- Posted by LeveeMan on Fri, Jun 22, 2012, at 9:17 AM

On the Contrary "LeveeMan" who loves to belittle and berate a good honest man for asking honest questions, which is all Bob Parker has done. Rebuilding the Levee will be a top Priority for Bob who has in fact toured the area numerous times.

The Freedom of Information Act Requests with regard to the Contracts involved is still pending but I'm confident that once received they will yield some interesting information.

I've asked you numerous times, since you claim to be an "expert" on the goings on regarding the Levee to link the information or provide information regarding to the Army Corps of Engineers Contracts that were awarded.

You apparently are no expert and have no real knowledge or you're afraid to share that information with the people.

The Farmers and families that live in the area deserve to be protected as best we can from the ravages of the Mississippi. This project that has already consumed more than 25 Million dollars has in no way done that and needs to be completed as soon as humanly possible.

Please share with us who you are, I've asked numerous times already but you decline comment like Mrs. Emerson runs from anything resembling a Town Hall Meeting or a Primary debate, where these questions can all come out and the people in the district can decide for themselves.

Dirk Shea

-- Posted by ddshea on Fri, Jun 22, 2012, at 10:48 AM

More diversion and distortion. If you or anyone care to know about the levee...GO there. Attend a meeting or talk to a commissioner. You won't because you won't like what they tell you. They will tell you that without Jo Ann Emerson's help there would be NO protection or a plan to rebuild...period. She was a true leader and made that happen. Bob lied and said "there is no levee" and he has called the temporary work "a waste of money" - that is unacceptable to me and everyone that makes a living down here. Why won't you explain why it is ok for Bob to LIE and get away with it. Your big argument is that Bob is a great man of virtue, but he has no regard for the truth on this issue or many others. Stop the LIES

-- Posted by LeveeMan on Fri, Jun 22, 2012, at 11:23 AM

Again you fail to identify yourself which lends to your lack of credibility. You fail to disclose any information that although it should be a matter of public record it is Not available I've checked.

I've asked you numerous times, as I have the Army Corps of Engineers, for information regarding how much money is available, how much has been spent, and who received contracts that were awarded, not just contracts up for bid.

Bob Parker has never Lied on this topic or any other. Anyone can do their own research on his positions and into Mrs. Emerson's Liberal Record and see for themselves who is credible and who can be trusted to act in their best interest and who will Fight for them. That isn't Mrs. Emerson. She is owned outright by the Unions her husband represents and whom her daughters are Registered Lobbyists for, and all the other special interests that fund her campaign from outside the District and outside of Missouri.

The tragedy of Birds Point is that it is still incomplete and undefended. That is an outrage. If you have the information I've repeatedly asked you for then share it if not stop attempting to mislead people that you have any sort of credibility "LeveeMan".

Dirk Shea

-- Posted by ddshea on Fri, Jun 22, 2012, at 12:09 PM

Bob Parker:

"There is NO LEVEE protecting the farmers..." LIE! Why don't you read his posts.

-- Posted by LeveeMan on Fri, Jun 22, 2012, at 12:18 PM

What they are calling a Levee, "LeveeMan" who still refuses to identify himself... Amounts to throwing a spitball at the Mighty Mississippi.

They spent over 25 Million dollars and put up Hesco Baskets. The Same hesco baskets we used to fortify our positions in Iraq and afghanistan.

Well let me tell you "LeveeMan" when the rainy season did come when I was in Iraq those baskets did nothing to keep out a little rain water and you and the Army Corp of Engineers want the people to believe that a few wired baskets strung together with some dirt thrown in will stop the Mississippi? Furthermore that the same minimal efforts have already exceeded a cost of 25 Million dollars which I find very hard to believe.

I find your comments misguided and your loyalties misplaced.

Again if you are the "expert" you claim to be...

Identify yourself

Provide the information I've asked you for repeatedly... How much has been spent? What companies received the contracts from ACE? How much money do we have left to work with?

Short of that, you are long on rhetoric and short on any productive action much like you beloved Jo Ann Emerson who has repeatedly sold out our district and our country with her voting Record.

Dirk Shea

-- Posted by ddshea on Fri, Jun 22, 2012, at 12:39 PM

I live and work in Mississippi County. Bob Parker has never attended a meeting here or talked to anyone involved in the process. ALL of the work to this point was done by the Corps. NOT Contractors! The money spent went to build temporary levees to 55'. Those temporary levees are now the base for the permanent levees. YES, there ARE levees! Bob LIED, period. Come see for yourself and proving yourself a fool.

-- Posted by LeveeMan on Fri, Jun 22, 2012, at 12:46 PM

The only one making a fool of themselves is you "leveeman"... hiding behind a carefully crafted pseudonym that you'd hope would lend some credibility to your comments.

Your refusal to share with people who you are or to provide any of the information that I have repeatedly requested proves your motivation is completely and purely political in nature. An Expert on the Levee would easily be able to provide such information and want to share it.

The Army Corps of Engineers, like you "LeveeMan", as of yet has failed to provide me the information I have requested regarding the awarding of Contracts, money spent to this point, and money left for completion.

The work that has been done won't amount to a speed bump if the water rises and there are numerous gaps in what you claim amount to a real levee. Bob has toured the area with those primarily affected by it's destruction numerous times and it remains of primary concern to him to get it restored to it's proper height immediately.

-- Posted by ddshea on Fri, Jun 22, 2012, at 1:35 PM

There are NO gaps! There IS a levee! The Money spent was NOT a waste. It saved family farms and livelihoods. Bob has never met with a levee board or the Corps. He LIED!! That is all!

-- Posted by LeveeMan on Fri, Jun 22, 2012, at 1:55 PM

You and "Team Emerson" are real fond of calling Bob Parker a Liar, "LeveeMan". People can watch this exchange between Bob Parker and Emerson "spokesman", Darren Lingle, and research the Facts and judge for themselves who will stand up for them and who is being truthful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAApXgNl8...

The "levee" you speak of has been in No way tested and at it's current stage will protect no one's family, farm, or livelihood.

You go out of your way to rail against a good, honest, hardworking man like Bob Parker who may dare to ask the hard questions that need to be asked and that the good people in the area affected deserve real answers to...

Who received the contracts awarded by ACE?

To Date how much money has been spent and what has that expenditure bought us?

How much money is available to complete the Project?

When is the hard date of it's completion?

You claim to know and have access to this information "LeveeMan" yet you fail to identify yourself and belittle those asking relevant questions.

If anyone out there would like to know where Bob Parker stands on this issue you can email Bob and he'll tell you directly from his own perspective where he stands and how important this issue is to him.

bob@electbobparker.com

Don't simply take the word of an obvious "shill" for team Emerson who is afraid to identify himself or provide any relevant real information that he claims to be privy to.

Dirk Shea

-- Posted by ddshea on Fri, Jun 22, 2012, at 3:18 PM

Bob Parker:

"There is NO LEVEE protecting the farmers..." - LIE!

Please tell me specifically - what would Bob do or have done. Loud talk won't move the corps. Experience and leadership - the kind Jo Ann Emerson shows - that is what is rebuilding our levee. I'm waiting for a specific answer. How would Bob Parker use his power to force the corps to rebuild the levee.

LIES LIES LIES

-- Posted by LeveeMan on Fri, Jun 22, 2012, at 3:35 PM

I've provided his email address above "LeveeMan", I don't presume to speak for Bob Parker. I just won't tolerate you obvious Emerson shills engaging in de facto defamation and slander of a Good, honest man, asking tough questions that need to be asked.

If you want to know exactly what Bob Parker would do here, again, is his email address and I am sure he would be happy to tell you how he would resolve this issue of utmost importance that after over a year is still left unresolved.

bob@electbobparker.com

You are the one claiming to have all the answers and likewise, claim to be an "expert" on this topic "LeveeMan", yet you fail to make your self known and evade real questions so I'll ask you again if you are the expert that you claim to be and that if you'd want anyone reading these exchanges to take anything you say as credible then please share with us

Who are You?

What Companies were awarded the Contracts to restore the levee?

How much has been spent thus far and what has that expenditure bought us to date?

When can we expect the Project to be completed?

If you are as passionate about this topic and not simply shilling for the Emerson reelection campaign and are the authority you claim to be then providing answers to the above questions should be easy for you.

Either way my Freedom of Information Act request will have to be addressed at some point by the Army Corps of Engineers and when that happens People can get the real truth and documentation on this issue no matter what those results yield.

-- Posted by ddshea on Fri, Jun 22, 2012, at 3:58 PM

Common sense and great character are what makes Bob Parker the honorable man that he is. Those of you who feel the need to attack his character, and accuse him of lies, are simply attempting to discredit him to make Emerson look better. Your tactics aren't working for you at all. Support for Bob is growing by leaps and bounds, daily, and you have no way to combat that except with name calling and false accusations. Thank you for contributing to his campaign, because people in the 8th district are appreciating the fact that we don't stoop to the levels of name calling and untruths. By the way, it is true that Ms Emerson has just ranked third from the top on the Hall of Shame regarding her voting record as a Conservative. She is defeating herself in this election, and some of you are having a very difficult time accepting it. Bob and his supporters will never have to resort to lies, because the truth is working too well for us.

-- Posted by conservative4real on Fri, Jun 22, 2012, at 6:13 PM

If you are interested in asking Bob questions, feel free to go to his website, www.electbobparker.com, or he is happy to take phone calls. Representing the values and needs of the people are very important to Bob. He is honest and sincere in his desire to represent the people of the 8th district with honesty and integrity. The building of the levee is a work in progress (or was), but it is not a levee sufficient to protect crops and homes should we have a devastating flood. I believe that was more the point of Bob saying, "no levee." Hopefully the work will resume soon.

-- Posted by conservative4real on Fri, Jun 22, 2012, at 10:45 PM

Regardless of what you think there is no doubt Parker is concerned for the people and property in the flood.I don't see a problem with someone wanting the best possible outcome from a horrible disaster. No doubt this project has gone through to many layers of Bureaucratic BS. Why would you attack someone and call names when all they are asking for is to make the levee bigger and better so these people don't ever have to live through that again. These people sacrificed everything so others wouldn't cry when they got wet. This project has been kept very quiet ever since they blew the levee in the dark. It should be top news and a poster-child for Missourians Sacrificing for Others. There should be no Doubt in what is happening at Birdspiont. That's all is see that Bob Parker wants, why would you have conflict with that??

-- Posted by Copperdog on Fri, Jun 22, 2012, at 10:51 PM

http://www.semissourian.com/story/173796...

Bob Parker at Birds Point Tragedy....Not bad for a guy that lives 200 miles from the River.

-- Posted by Copperdog on Fri, Jun 22, 2012, at 11:20 PM

Read the post! We have a levee. Our full levee will be completed this year. Bob lied. If he cared he wouldn't be using this to score campaign points and speak the truth. Anyone clever enough to make distasteful videos and slander a good woman and her family should be smart enough to find the information they seek. This newspaper has reported on the contractors, the rebuild, and the timeline. Oh, and they have accurately praised Jo Ann Emerson for making it all happen. Bob does live 200 miles from the river and it shows. Stop lying!

-- Posted by LeveeMan on Sat, Jun 23, 2012, at 10:52 AM

Again, you claim to have this information and you refuse to share it with the people or identify yourself.

The information is Not available, I've submitted a Freedom of Information request to get the information you supposedly possess but fail to share

I've requested that the Missourian share the sources of the information they have used in their articles and have never heard from them regarding source documents

Bob Parker isn't campaigning on this issue, you may find this hard to believe but he is genuinely concerned about the safety of those living in the area affected and wants the levee built to standard and will make sure that happens in a timely manner.

You've stated Jo Ann's doing a great job on this issue, let me tell you "LeveeMan" she's not. This should have been completed already. I don't speak for Bob I just support him but after working for the US Army on active duty for almost a decade I can tell you how she COULD have taken care of this with ONE Phone call.

Jo Ann is a Chair on the appropriations subcommittee. If she was serious about rebuilding the Levee at Birds Point as she should have been all along. She'd have picked up the phone and called the Secretary of the Army and told him that if they don't want any of their discretionary appropriations put on hold they'd give a call down to the Memphis Branch of the Army Corps of Engineers and tell them to "get the lead out" on this project. If not all discretionary spending would be held up until that happens and the Levee is rebuilt. The fact she hasn't used her authority in that regard is a disgrace and a disservice to all those living in the area affected. That is my assessment.

And Again, if you want to be taken seriously share with us who you are and provide the information I have repeatedly asked you to provide if you are in fact "in the know" which I highly doubt.

-- Posted by ddshea on Sat, Jun 23, 2012, at 11:07 AM

@ Copperdog. Obviously the 8th district lines have been drawn in such a way that any candidate living within the region is close enough to serve the area.

Great news, LeveeMan. If we have a levee, then nothing has been called off? Bob was referring to the fact that the levee is not complete, but you know that.

-- Posted by conservative4real on Sat, Jun 23, 2012, at 12:43 PM


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