BOC awards bid for HVAC project; discusses storm debris removal

Published 10:10 pm Friday, October 19, 2018

By Ken Gustafson

AMERICUS — At the monthly meeting Tuesday, the Sumter County Board of Commissioners awarded Truman’s Air Conditioning & Heating the job of replacing and installing HVAC units at the Sumter County Law Enforcement Center at a cost of $26,300.
There were five other companies bidding for the project. Ernie’s Quality Air Conditioning and Heating, also located in Americus, submitted the lowest bid at $25,945.
Col. Eric Bryant of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office told the Board that the HVAC replacement project has been on the department’s agenda for a while. Bryant urged the Board to make a decision quickly to award the bid to the company that could make the lowest bid and meet all of the requirements. Bryant said there are three HVAC units at the jail that need to be replaced.
County CFO Janice Jarvis said she looked over the spread sheet on the bids and proposals that she received and what was included in those proposals. “I highlighted Truman’s because they actually noted that they had the minimum standard of 14 S.E.E.R (Standard Energy Efficiency Rating) that we required in the RFP (Request for Proposal),” Jarvis said. She said that she wasn’t sure that Truman’s would be qualified to do it because the company currently didn’t have an unrestricted license. County SPLOST Director Bernie Merritt told the board that Truman’s had, in his words, passed the test. “What I’m saying here is that the flow of paper work is keeping him (Truman Waters) from being issued an unrestricted license. They are just waiting for the certificate number to come back from the state. He has passed the test for unrestricted installation,” Merritt said. Jarvis replied that Waters could give the board written documentation saying that he has met the requirements for an unrestricted license. Merritt replied that if Truman’s is approved, it should be done on the condition that they will provide written proof that they have received an unrestricted license.
Commissioner Mark Waddell remarked that if every HVAC unit has to be a 14 S.E.E.R, Truman is the only one using that on all three units. He made a motion to award the bid to Truman’s Air Conditioning and Heating in the amount of $26,300. The motion was seconded by Commissioner George Torbert. The board discussed the bids further, and County Attorney Kimberly Reid reviewed the bids that were submitted for the vote. Waddell and Torbert voted in favor of the motion. Commissioners Clay Jones and Thomas Jordan voted against the motion. Jones said the reason he was voting against the motion was because he thought the company didn’t meet the criteria required. With the vote tied at 2-2, Chairman Randy Howard voted in favor of Truman’s Air Conditioning and Heating, breaking the tie.
In other items, Sumter County EMA Director Nigel Poole brought the board up to speed on the recovery progress in the wake of Hurricane Michael. Poole said that 1,048 homes throughout the county sustained damage. He praised all of the departments in Americus and Sumter County for their cooperation and teamwork. “We did not have any injuries or fatalities from the hurricane,” Poole said. He went on to say, however, that 20 Georgia Power customers in Sumter County are still without power and 200 Sumter EMC customers are still without power. A motion was made by Waddell and seconded by Jordan for Poole, along with Eric Bryant, Frank Whitaker, Bernie Merritt and Buildings and Grounds Director Larry Chitwood to obtain quotes for generators for county facilities. The approval will be done via email and the ratification will be done at the board’s next meeting in November.
Department of Public Works Director Frank Whitaker discussed with the board his plans for hauling away debris left over from the storm. Whitaker said that in lieu of a disaster plan, he contacted Ameri-Green about hauling away the debris to a pit site located on Brady Road. “The city of Americus has contacted me about using the county’s storage site,” Whitaker said. “I told them I thought we could, but that we would need a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Americus and the county that the city of Americus would have to participate in the cost.”
A motion was made by Jordan and seconded by Waddell to approve an MOU to allow Americus to use the county’s EPD pit on Brady Road as long as the city signs the MOU as drafted by Attorney Reid. The approval passed unanimously.
The board also approved a motion to allow Harrod Tree Services to cut trees on county property in an amount not to exceed $4,400. Chitwood told the board that eight large oak trees need to be cut. A motion for approval was made by Torbert and seconded by Jordan, and passed unanimously.