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Sumter County Board of Commissioners approves revised bid evaluation procedures

AMERICUS – At its monthly meeting on Tuesday, September 15, the Sumter County Board of Commissioners (BOC) voted unanimously to approve the revised Sumter County bid evaluation procedures and also voted unanimously to approve the revised financial policies to align with those procedures. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the BOC conducted the meeting by way of Zoom.

This approval deals with how the county will conduct evaluations and procedures regarding the rewarding of bids to certain companies to perform projects for Sumter County.

County Financial Director Janice Jarvis reminded the BOC that it went over the proposed bid evaluations last week during its work session and that there was a question as to putting a time limit on the receiving of complaints or appeals to the bid procedural outcome. Jarvis went on to say that she and the procurement technician reviewed the procedures in detail to make sure that a certain paragraph in the written document regarding these bid evaluation procedures didn’t tie back in with anything else. “We did not find where it did,” said Jarvis. She continued by saying that an agreement was made for a final paragraph to be added to the document and that it should state that “All complaints and/or appeals regarding any aspect of a bid procedure or outcome must be filed with a procurement technician within 48 hours of the bid opening.” Jarvis continued by saying that this statement should and will provide enough time to receive any complaints before it goes to the BOC for award. “I think that he 48-hour time frame will be adequate for what we need,” said Jarvis.

BOC Chairman Clay Jones asked the commissioners if they had any questions about this change and all of them said they had no problem with it. Jarvis also wanted to tie in a revision of financial policies along with the revision of bid evaluations and procedures. These financial policies are to align with the revised bid evaluations and procedures. “There were no further changes to the finance policies,” said Jarvis. “All these that were on there were simply to tie the two together and make them sink with each other, so the finance policies are ready to be approved as well.”

Jones asked the commissioners if there was a motion to approve the revised Sumter County Bid Evaluation Procedures and the revised financial policies to align with the bid evaluation procedures. Commissioner Thomas Jordan made a motion for approval and Commissioner Scott Roberson seconded the motion. The BOC voted and the approval passed unanimously.

The BOC also discussed the Quit Claim Deed between itself and the Americus-Sumter County Land Bank Authority for property located at 809 Oak Avenue in Americus. According to the deed, the property will be seeded to the Land Bank Authority.

County Operations Administrator Rayetta Volley said that she is still waiting for the Sumter County Land Bank to present the deed to the BOC, but that all of the scrap metal has been cleaned out of the building on the Oak Avenue property.

Volley also stated that the county wants to either sell the playground equipment on the property to or transfer ownership of it to the City of De Soto, who wants the playground equipment. However, according to Sumter County Parks and Recreation Director Tim Estes, based on his research, the equipment is over 20 years old. “The person that he (Estes) talked to, they don’t move equipment that’s over 20 years old,” said Volley. “It’s up to the Board as to how y’all want to handle it, whether we want to put a price on it, or if we want to say that they (De Soto) can get it, but they’ll be responsible for removing it.”

Commissioner Roberson asked County Attorney Kimberly Reid how much liability the county has on the playground equipment if they let De Soto move it. Reid replied that it’s her understanding that the City of De Soto would actually be taking ownership of the equipment at that point. “I think what you want to do is confirm that the county is transferring it to them and that they will take complete ownership and be responsible for the playground equipment from the time that they pick it up and move it forward because you don’t want any liability for that,” said Reid.

Reid went on to say that it could be done as a simple a Bill of Sale with disclaimer language and an effective date. The BOC has yet to officially approve the Quit Claim Deed.

Human Resources Director Susan Merritt told the BOC that she wants to remind everyone to go get his or her flu shots on Thursday, September 17. “We were out at the correctional institute this morning (Tuesday morning) and we had very low attendance,” said Merritt. “There were only eight people that participated, but I’m hoping that the majority of them will be available on Thursday when we’re here at the courthouse. We will be in the Board of Commissioners’ meeting room from 9 a.m. to noon.”

Sumter County Fire and Rescue (SCFR) Chief Jerry Harmon told the BOC that he found out on Monday that the SCFR has the opportunity to apply for a grant through the Georgia Emergency Medical Services Association (GEMS). Harmon stated that the grant would allow firefighters to take an Emergency First Responders (EMR) course, which is just below the EMT (Emergency Management Technician) course. “This is a national registry course. We do have three in-house instructors that will be teaching this course,” said Harmon. “This grant will be at no cost to us. I just need approval. I think the deadline is on the 30th of the month.”

Harmon went on to say that up to 25 students can take the course and that the grant will take care of the cost of the books, the instructors and each student.

Harmon also stated that the instructors would like to teach the EMR course for free and use the funds from the grant to buy more EMT books so that the SCFR could start teaching the EMT course next year.

Commissioner Roberson made a motion to approve Chief Harmon’s desire to accept the GEMS grant for EMR training and Commissioner Jordan seconded the motion. The BOC voted and the approval passed unanimously.