Minority contractors claim they were left out of construction of temporary morgue

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CLAYTON, Mo. – An organization that represents minority contractors claims it was left out of a recent St. Louis County construction project.

Questions have been raised about how the county went about choosing contractors for building a temporary county morgue.

The morgue was built in Earth City in April to head-off a potential crisis if the number of dead bodies during the coronavirus pandemic overwhelmed hospitals, morgues, and funeral homes. It was a $2 million project.

By ordinance, the county is required to include 24 percent of minority-owned businesses in construction projects. Representatives for the African American Business and Contractors Association of St. Louis, which has about 50 members, said they received less than one percent of the work on the morgue.

“The fact that they spent $2 million on a morgue and did not include any African American contractors or very few workers on that project and very few women contractors on that project, so that’s a concern,” said Eddie Hasan, vice president of the African American Business and Contractors Association of St. Louis. “Our contractors are just as good as any other contractors. They’re not perfect nor are the other ones perfect.”

Hasan said he wants to meet with St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page within the next few days to discuss the association’s concerns. A spokesperson for the county executive said they are in the process of setting up that meeting.

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