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County to re-bid pickup

Decatur County Commissioners are continuing efforts to ensure fairness when purchasing new vehicles.

Commissioners were asked Tuesday to consider approving a bid of $24,397 from Southwind Ford of Colquitt, Ga., for a new pickup truck to be used by Decatur County Fire and Rescue. The department needs a new pickup truck to replace one that has more than 186,000 miles on it; the old truck still runs OK and will be transferred to the Public Works Department.

Noting all the bids were for Ford trucks, Board of Commissioners Chairman Butch Mosely asked if other manufacturers’ dealers were given a chance to bid.

County Finance Director Carl Rowland said they were not. Because of a special pricing program Ford offers to government buyers, Ford vehicles usually end up being the lowest bid, Rowland explained.

Commissioner Frank Loeffler said at least one local, non-Ford dealership had expressed interest to him about bidding on county vehicle purchases.

Loeffler made a motion to send out a new request for bids on the pickup truck to include other local dealerships, and the motion was approved unanimously.

In February, Commissioner Oliver Sellers spoke up about his belief that in cases when multiple car dealers submitted bids that differed by only small amounts, the county should favor local dealerships.

Other business

In other business, commissioners:

• Accepted, unanimously, a high bid of $153,000 from Coastal Plywood of Havana, Fla., for the company to cut down timber at the county’s Industrial Air Park.

• Approved, unanimously, a low bid of $29,124 from TTL of Albany, Ga., for geologic evaluation and soil sample study of a proposed 300-acre expansion to the county’s U.S. 27 South landfill.

• Approved, unanimously, a bill for $22,400 from Little River Utilities of Omega, Ga., for emergency repair and clean-out of a sewer line at the Industrial Air Park.

• Approved, unanimously, a bid of $14,995.35 from Landtec North America of Damascus, Md., for a methane gas quality monitor that will be used at the county’s Fowlstown Road landfill as part of the county’s deal to sell carbon credits.

• Heard from Paul Forgey, planning director with the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission, about ongoing updates to the Southwest Georgia Regional Plan. The work involves identifying local resources that are valuable to the whole region, such as rivers and other water sources.

• Heard from Jason Coleman, regional sales manager for MainStreet Broadband, provider of the county’s wireless Internet service, about plans to celebrate the first anniversary of the service’s operation in Decatur County.