More vendors speak-up about IBC's accounts
by Krystal Paco
Guam - It looks like the contractors who built John F. Kennedy High School are burning bridges with many of the vendors and subcontractors who helped with the project. "We don't know when we're going to be paid," said Frontier Supply Company general manager Al Hutton, who has yet to receive a penny from contractor International Bridge Corporation for supplies they provided for the JFK project.
According to Hutton, IBC is raking-in an outstanding balance of more than $74,000 and accruing interest daily. "I checked with both the principal and the assistant principal," he stated, "and the DOE people and they said that none of our materials had no problems with workmanship, labor, or warranty items so their should be no reason why we're not getting paid."
Hutton has contacted IBC for payment, but is relayed to a company in Oklahoma. "Recently in the last 60 days we were given a letter to contact a company out of Oklahoma, and we contacted that company in Oklahoma. Again, expending resources by going back to our accounting department and proving that every invoice that we sent to IBC for the materials were used on JFK were legitimate. At this point, we're told they're in a decision maker's desk and they're undecided whether or not they're going to pay for them."
Frontier Supply Company is Alaska-based, but opened shop in Tamuning two and a half years ago. The company offers a range of products including waterworks pipes, fire hydrants, holding tanks, faucets, cabinetry, windows, and doors. Hutton adds that all but two of his employees were hired locally, and that IBC's outstanding balance is hurting business.
"My employees need to pay their bills and hopefully our customers come in and pay their bills," he said.
Hutton isn't surprised that the school remains incomplete because other vendors have been vocal about IBC's delinquent accounts. Hutton says that Frontier Supply Company relies heavily on repeat customers, but because IBC's credibility is so badly damaged if they needed supplies for a new project, IBC would need to pay cash up front. "We have other customers that are have also supplied things to JFK that haven't been paid as well, and they've come to us asking if we've been paid. Everyone seems to be in the same holding pattern trying to find out who's being paid and who's not," he said.
"If they're not paying their bills on time then its very hard for vendors like us or anyone like us to give them more materials to complete the job. If they're so far in debt with us that they're not making any effort to pay us, so I don't know anybody that would extend any more materials to them if they're not paying on the accounts that they already have," he said.
IBC has yet to respond for comment. In the meantime, the John F. Kennedy administration is hoping that school owners Capital Projects Finance Authority's presence on island will expedite the completion of the school.