The City of Agua Dulce has been accused of a breach in contract in a lawsuit filed by a company hired last year as the contractor for a $1 million road improvement project in the city.

The lawsuit, filed Oct. 28 in Nueces County Court at Law No. 1, alleges the city breached a 2008 contract with Salinas Construction Technologies Ltd. by withholding payment for the work, which was "substantially complete" at the end of December, the company claims.

Salinas had initially been awarded the contract in January 2008 after it submitted a low bid of $990,823, with a scheduled completion date of Nov. 1, 2008. However, the company claims construction work done by the city on water valves led to a delay in the work, pushing the date to the end of December, according to the lawsuit.

The contractor then submitted a change order request to pay for the additional time, which it claims was part of the original contract. But those payments were reportedly recommended to be withheld by the city's engineer, Patrick Coym, due to alleged "patchwork on the streets" done by the contractor.

This left a balance of $21,276 that the contractor claims it is owed, according to the lawsuit. The contractor is denying the "patchwork" claim made by the city.

Agua Dulce Mayor Jeanne Goode confirmed on Friday the issue pertained, in part, to the quality of work done on the street project by Salinas Construction, though she refused to comment any further on the pending litigation.

The contractor is seeking the balance it is owed from the project and other incurred costs, as well as attorney's fees.