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Hearing complaints from residents, Hays County fires KBR

Wednesday, April 8, 2009 by Jacob Cottingham

Hays County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously voted to rescind contract negotiations with KBR, the military and oil services contractor. The company had been hired to design parts of FM 110 loop last month, but citizens had complained about allegations surrounding the work KBR had done in Iraq. S&B Infrastructure was awarded the contract.

 

Pct. 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe told In Fact Daily, “Because of the concerns that we received from residents, we felt it was important to revisit whether or not the county should continue negotiations with KBR.” She said, “I think we as commissioners have the responsibility to listen to those concerns and then determine what’s best for our community.”

 

The project includes a 1.2-mile stretch of road outside San Marcos, turning off McCarty Lane onto SH123.

 

Bryan Hannah, an Army veteran who served 15 months in Iraq, was incensed that KBR had been doing work for the county. He said that in Iraq he frequently encountered KBR work that was done poorly at an inflated cost. “They have a horrible moral standing and are shrouded in corruption,” he said. “Their shoddy work has electrocuted soldiers, they bribe officials — the list goes on.”

 

KBR released a statement that read, “We are disappointed with the Commissioner’s decision…. Hays County conducted an open and transparent process to select an engineering team for this assignment and determined that the KBR Team was best qualified. It is regrettable that this decision was apparently overturned because of misrepresentations of KBR’s performance on matters completely unrelated to this engineering assignment.”

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