Nashville is soliciting bids for a company to operate vehicle emissions inspection stations (where vehicle owners have to go every year before getting their tags renewed). The company that’s currently doing it, Opus Inspections, wants to bid again (considering that they’ve already built all these inspection stations in Nashville).
The problem is, Opus thinks that the city has unfairly stacked the cards against them. Their first beef with the city is that it’s made different requirements for the the incumbent alone:
The RFQ requires that only one potential bidder, Opus Inspection, to maintain and operate two (2) inspection stations with five (5) lanes in “Area 2,” while allowing other potential bidders to maintain and operate only one (1) station with four (4) lanes in Area 2. This prima facie discrimination unfairly burdens Opus Inspection with higher costs than other potential bidders.
Secondly, they’re none too happy that they’d be forced to shut down one their existing stations:
The RFQ requires that the existing “Westbelt Drive station will be closed” and a new station be built in “Area 3,” which is as close as 2.7 miles away. The existing Westbelt station is well known by Nashville motorists and received customer volume in line with other stations. The burden, and cost, of closing the Westbelt station unfairly impacts only one potential bidder, Opus Inspection. The effects are a) a significant cost increase as this purpose built station will be demolished and replaced with a new station; b) an inconvenience as motorists for more than 20 years have been accustomed to drive to Westbelt station.
The city dismissed both claims against it, saying that it saw no problems with the way it handled the request for bids. In two follow-up letters, one from Opus and the other from Opus’ lawyer, the company again protested the city’s decision against their appeal. In the letter from the lawyer, the company requested an in-person meeting, which is now scheduled for May 10.