By Marty Madden, Baynet
Prince Frederick, MD – For Lambertine Jones Jr. the whole situation is an example of a promise that was broken. The Chesapeake Beach resident who owns LJ Enterprises, a hauling contractor, said talk that the lucrative Dominion Cove Point Export project would give various sub-contracts to Calvert County businesses was apparently just that—talk.
“When this project was promoted I walked away with the understanding that Calvert businesses would have first priority,” Jones told the Calvert County Commissioners during their Tuesday, Jan. 27 meeting. “This is not happening.”
Jones told the board that he has spoken with other Calvert County contractors, all of whom claim their trucks are parked and not involved in the $3.8 billion project to construct a liquefaction facility at the Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Plant.
“No Calvert trucks are involved in this project,” Jones declared.
Jones filed suit Jan. 14 in Calvert County Circuit Court against KDMB LLC, the contractor who was awarded the job by the project’s building contractor, IHI/Kiewit. According to court documents, Jones cited “unfair competition” as the reason for the suit.
Court documents stated KDMB LLC is located in Huntingtown. A phone number listed for the business was found on the Internet. A message for a return call was left with an answering service. The call had not been returned as this story was being filed.
Jones claims that KDMB has “outsourced” the hauling work and the trucks involved with the project are coming from St. Mary’s County. “I have more trucks than anyone in Calvert County,” said Jones. “My guys need to work as well.”
Dominion spokesman Karl Neddenien said IHI/Kiewit awarded jobs to sub-contractors though a competitive bidding process.
“As far as our bidding process, IHI/Kiewit promotes and encourages opportunities to all vendors, including small and disadvantaged businesses,” stated IHI/Kiewit Communications Manager Natasha Jones. “The vendors are selected by best fit for the job, including value and bid pricing.”
Jones stated that vendors can find more bid information related to the Dominion project and register at the project web site http://1covepoint.com/
As the construction project at the plant and the work staging area on the west side of Lusby continues, those opposed to the Cove Point project continue efforts to have the work halted, at least until a safety study is conducted. Calvert Citizens for a Healthy Community (CCHC) spokeswoman Tracey Eno told the commissioners during the meeting’s public comment segment that 32 volunteers knocked on over 500 doors of residents living in proximity to the plant. She stated the volunteers encountered several “scared people” and others who did not have much information about the Dominion Cove Point project. “I’m asking you to be champions of the people,” Eno told the commissioners, requesting again that an updated safety study on the project be done.
On Wednesday, Feb. 4 CCHC will conduct the first of two monthly meetings regarding the Dominion project. The session will begin at 6:30 p.m. and the guest speakers are billed as “two nationally known lawyers” who will discuss legal options.