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Is Aurora Blacktop about to close or ‘being restructured?’

Updated: May 21, 2012 8:42AM

A day after the Kendall County Board awarded almost $2.9 million in road contracts to Aurora Blacktop Inc., a question has arisen if the longtime area road builder will be able to do the projects.

A letter made available to The Beacon-News and Kendall County Board members indicates the company has gone out of business. It is unclear who the letter originally was sent to, but it is dated April 12.

“It is with heavy hearts that we must inform you that after over 60 years of business, we must close,” the letter on company stationery says. “Like many businesses today, we are victims of the economy and can no longer sustain operations.”

The letter is signed “Aurora Blacktop, Inc.,” and “The Leifheit Family.”

That did not stop Kendall County on Tuesday from awarding $2.87 million for seven road projects to Aurora Blacktop.

“I don’t know if they’re out of business or not,” said County Board member Robert Davidson, the Highway Committee chairman. “Word on the street is they are for sale.”

Contacted at their Montgomery offices Wednesday, the company had little comment. The company is “being restructured” and is “not necessarily” out of business, a spokesman told The Beacon-News.

“We can’t really discuss this at this time,” the spokesman said of the April 12 letter.

Officials from other governmental agencies in the area who also have done business with Aurora Blacktop said they had gotten no official word from the company.

Davidson said if another company buys Aurora Blacktop, the new company would have first chance on the awarded contracts, for which Aurora Blacktop was the low bidder. But he said the county also could decide to rebid the projects, or award them to the second-lowest bidder.

“We’re not going to do anything yet,” he said. “The contracts will be sent to them.”

The contracts Kendall County awarded Tuesday to Aurora Blacktop are; $1.22 million and $818,452, both for sections of Galena Road; $33,772 for shoulders on Millington and Lisbon Road; $159,732 for Eldamain Road; $165,439 for the Bristol Township Road District; $171,297 for the Little Rock Township Road District; and $267,712 for the Oswego Township Road District.

In all, the board awarded 13 total contracts. The others included: $34,800 to Pessina Construction Services for Millbrook sidewalks; $972,768 to D Construction Inc., for Walker Road; $41,547 to Glenn McCann Co., for Lisbon Road; $95,502 to McCann for Millington Road; $49,629 to D Construction for the Fox Township Road District; and $105,507 to Austin Tyler Construction for the Na-Au-Say Township Road District.

County officials denied protests made against the company by Teamsters Union Local 673 that McCann failed to develop an apprenticeship and training program.

Fran Klaas, Kendall highway director, said the training program requirement does not apply for those two projects because they are funded locally and not with state money.

The union protested four other Kendall projects that do use state fuel tax money, so those were forwarded to the Illinois Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction, Klaas said.

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