After 45 minutes in executive session, Paris City Council directed staff to begin negotiations with Beshirs Construction to terminate their annual bid.
The decision was met with a round of applause from most of the audience, some of whom addressed the council prior to its executive session.
The city's relationship with Beshirs Construction appeared on the agenda this week after the Paris Police Department reported that a man exited a company truck at Blankinship Oil on Saturday and engaged in a fistfight with a 16-year-old. The teenager knocked the man out with a body slam after the man landed several blows.
The fight sparked a protest Sunday by Black community members, who said the fight was racially motivated. The teenager is Black while the adult man is Anglo. The protest blocked traffic for more than an hour on North Main Street at Blankinship Oil.
According to City Manager Grayson Path, City Council awarded to Beshirs Construction a bid to do miscellaneous concrete projects on an as-needed basis from April 2020 to April 2021. The council awarded the bid on April 13.
"Every year in April, we bid out quantity pricing of concrete work to be performed as we need it for street, sidewalk, curb, gutter, etc., maintenance. So there are not 'multiple contracts' but rather one awarded bid locking us in for the same lowest price each time."