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County purchases new vehicles

County commissioners approved the purchase of three new vehicles Tuesday, although one decision may run contrary to purchasing procedures recommended by the State of Georgia.

On the cash purchase of a crime scene van for the Sheriff’s Office, commissioners unanimously approved the second-lowest bid of $23,391.04 from Riverbend Ford for a Ford Econoline E-350 SD.

Commissioners passed over the lowest bid, $23,317 from Brannen Motor Company of Unadilla, Ga., at the recommendation of County Finance Director Carl Rowland.

Rowland said he recommended going with the local bid as it was only $74 more than the low bid. He said he believed the difference would be made up in the savings realized from having the vehicle delivered locally. Unadilla is about 129 miles northeast of Bainbridge off Interstate 75.

Decatur County does not currently have a local bid preference policy, but one is under active consideration, Rowland told The Post-Searchlight Tuesday.

The State of Georgia gives preference to bids from businesses operating within Georgia or local areas only in the event of a tie bid, according to the procurement manual of the Georgia Department of Administrative Services’ Purchasing Division. The bid specification sheet sent out by the Sheriff’s Office asked bidders not to include a delivery charge, as it indicated it would pick up the van from the winning bidder’s place of business.

Commissioners unanimously approved a low bid of $154,997 from Fire Line, Inc., of Winder, Ga., for a rescue pumper truck to be used by the Brinson Volunteer Fire Department.

According to Rowland, the purchased truck has had light use as a demonstration model, hence the lower price. With the accompanying purchase of a generator, radio, hose and reel, the total price will be $166,407 to be paid for using proceeds from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

Commissioners unanimously approved a low bid of $55,000 from All Star International Trucks of Tifton, Ga., for an International 4400 service truck to replace an existing service truck that has been used by the Road Department for more than 20 years, according to Rowland. A new truck chassis will be mounted on the old truck’s bed and body, he said.