Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Three weeks ago we first told you about Richland County Council selecting an out of state firm to oversee nearly a billion dollar Penny Tax Project.

Now they have unanimously voted to rescind that decision.

Richland County Council called off the 50 million dollar contract after the local firm that scored higher on their evaluation filed a protest.

Last year, council members, Dickerson, Pearce, Washington, Jeter, Malinowski, Livingston and Manning voted to hire ICA, a Tennessee based company to oversee penny tax funded projects.

Concerned residents were upset because county leaders said that the money for the penny tax would be spent locally. And CECS a Richland County based firm scored higher than ICA.

Despite the decision council members stood by their vote in an interview last month.

"Well sometimes the person with the highest score doesn't always bring the right results," said Dickerson.

"Many of the teams, while they might have a parent company that is not in the Columbia area, they had local offices," said Manning.

"See when folks are talking about you hire someone local that was the prime firm, the prime firm has along with it several other firms and several of those firms have local individuals too," said Livingston.

The county council has now voted unanimously to rescind their decision of selecting ICA.

WLTX tried to contact the council members that changed their decision but was told that legal counsel told them not to comment.

"Council decided that it would be fair, or better or easier to start a new process and make sure that everyone understands their role, the process, the criteria, definitions to avoid a protest," said Council chair, Norman Jackson.

Jackson was in the minority earlier this year voting for the local firm to head the project.

WLTX contacted CECS to talk to them about why they filed the protest and no one returned our messages.

Regional Manager David Beaty with ICA released a statement saying:"I'm disappointed in the outcome, but our team has been committed for the past four years and we are going to remain committed to help Richland County achieve its goals."

With that said Beaty told me they would re-apply for the job.

Jackson says the application process should start sometime next week.

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