With one dissenting vote, the Kaysville City Council has awarded a $1.5 million contract for construction of the city's new operations center.

The contract was awarded to K&P Plumbing, a Provo-based firm that is putting the final touches on installation of the city's secondary water system.Complaints generated by the company's performance on that job, along with the close bidding, prompted several council members last week to question whether the contract should go to K&P.

State law does not require that the lowest bid be accepted on a job, giving city councils the discretion to award it to another bidder.

City manager John Thacker and city engineer Lee Cammack conceded there have been problems with K&P, ranging from citizen complaints to council questions about completing the job on deadline.

But Thacker and Cammack said they believe that with proper supervision by the city, K&P will do a good job on the new city building. And they agreed the quality of the firm's work is good.

"We had some questions and some problems, especially on timeliness and cleaning up around the project," said Thacker. "But they responded. They've had some management changes that help. And we never had a problem with their craftsmanship.

"When you consider the amount of pipe they put in on the irrigation system, and the very few, minor leaks that resulted during the pressure testing, they did a good job," he said.

Cammack said building one structure on a single site is a different prospect from digging up city streets and trenching through residential areas to install water mains.

A single site is easier to supervise and there shouldn't be complaints by neighbors affected by the construction, Cammack said. He also told the council that a better working relationship between the city and the contractor has been established.

"They know what we expect now and when we expect it. I think we can keep tabs on this project a whole lot better than with crews scattered over miles of city streets," Cammack said.