The school board in West Platte, Missouri, is in trouble over their handling of bids for irrigation systems and other work at two athletic fields. The board appears to have broken its own policy on construction contracts, bidding and awards. They may also have violated state law.

School board policy requires that all facilities’ construction projects which exceed $10,000 must advertise for bids for two consecutive weeks in the local newspaper, and solicit bids after plans and specs have been approved by the Board of Education.

State law requires that projects that exceed $15,000 must meet the above requirements, with the additional proviso that bids be submitted sealed and in writing. “It sounds as if your school district has violated state law,” said Missouri press attorney and Sunshine Law specialist Jean Maneke.

Maneke said that any citizen (especially one that would have bid on the project) could sue the school district for its alleged violation of state law, or file a complaint with the state attorney general’s or auditor’s offices. Several irrigation contractors in the area have contacted attorneys and are considering their options.