WEBSTER COUNTY, KY (10/24/12) – A long discussion on getting “the most bang for their buck” when it comes to purchasing dump trucks kept Webster County Fiscal Court members in regular session for quite a while Monday morning. Several bids were received for single-axle dump trucks and after bid openings and a bit of price comparison, magistrates gave the bids to Webster County Road Foreman Rob Mooney.
Assisted by David Bumpus, the duo left the meeting and briefly reviewed all the bids and specifications. Upon returning at the end of the meeting, Mooney noted that truck delivery date was the major issue.
“Everybody (bidders) was fairly close and competitive. Our main concern is timeline, how quickly can we get the trucks,” Mooney stated. “We’ll be facing some weather issues and we need them (trucks) as soon as possible.” Most trucks that met the specifications would have to be built and that would mean at least 60-90 day delivery time.
- Stoops Freightliner Quality Trucks from Dayton, OH
- Kalida Trucks from Lima, OH
- Banner Truck Equipment from Evansville, IN
- Meyer Truck from Evansville, IN
- Sternberg Automotive Group from Evansville, IN
- Worldwide Equipment from Lexington, KY
Part of the discussion centered around truck attachments - snow plow, salt spreader - as well as upgrading to stainless steel beds.One dealer was nearly $20,000 less expensive on the attachments and that price difference caused concern with court members, noting the bidder might have “missed something” and the court would have the pay the difference after awarding the bids. Magistrate Tony Felker stated he felt that stainless steel would be the most cost-effective avenue when considering the truck bed.
“That should last considerably longer than a regular steel bed,” Felker stated.
Mooney agreed noting the county hauls salt, sand and rock on any given day. After further discussion, Magistrate Jerry ‘Poogy’ Brown made a motion to allow Judge/Executive Jim Townsend the power to make the final decision on the best bid between Sternberg, Worldwide and Stoops, once all information had been gathered. The county is looking to purchase possibly two trucks with the approximate cost of $125,000-$130,000 each, including all attachments.
“Let’s give him the authority to make the final decision when all the facts and figures are in. I just want the best buy we can get,” Brown stated.
In other business, court members opened bids for the Deer Creek Watershed Cleanup Project, under the supervision of Mike Andrews and the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Dixon. The project will include cleanup and tree snagging of approximately 11 miles of Deer Creek from near Slaughters to the mouth of the Green River. Also, a two-mile portion of Deer Creek near Rakestraw Road bottoms. Two contractors submitted bids for the project including Yates Excavating of Slaughters and S&S Salvage of Providence. Both had near identical bids for hourly costs of track hoes, bulldozers, long-reach grippers, boat and three-man crew ($110-$120 per hour).
Upon the arrival of Andrews at the meeting, he recommended that the court approve both bids and he could use both contractors, a common practice, he explained.
“We used both of these companies and this is a very big job so we’ll probably let one contractor start at one end and the other (contractor) at the other and they can meet in the middle,” Andrews stated. “We’ve done this in the past and it’s worked really well. And I’ve been pleased with the past work performance of both (contractors). Both of the contractors have worked on Deer Creek in the past and that’s certainly a plus.”
Andrews did state that a change in start time of the project would be needed in order to allow for the upcoming deer hunting gun season (Nov. 10-25) to pass. The original start date was Nov. 11. “Some of the land down there is leased for hunting and we certainly don’t want anybody in the woods during gun season,” he said with a smile. “We’re probably looking at (start time) after Thanksgiving weekend.”
The court turned its attention to more old business and Judge Townsend noted that the former Carhartt Building located on Hwy. 41-A in Providence had been sold to Tim Smith.
“We’re just waiting on a survey (of the entire property) in order to finalize the deal,” Townsend stated. “We’re taking out the small piece of land that houses the new sewer/odor control injector pump building and allowing for an easement for the county to the small building.” Magistrate Brown asked how the new injector pump was working. “It worked great for a week and then for some reason it just shut off. A company representative is supposed to look at it this week, so hopefully we’ll having it operating normally at all times and not shutting off,” Townsend replied.
Also on Monday’s agenda was Jo Anna Shake from Green River Area Development District (GRADD) notifying the court that the 3-year Micro Enterprise Grant was coming to a close. “The $100,000 loan aided 40-41 small business and entrepreneurs in the counties of McLean, Webster, Henderson and Union. It helped jump-start many businesses,” she stated. Court members also declared a 1963 fire truck as surplus in order for it to be used as scrap.
In personnel matters, court members approved Dawn Whitsell to move from part-time to full-time in the County Clerk’s office at the same hourly pay scale.
New part-time deputies at the Jail included Jody Jones and Earl McCallister. Pay increases and moves from part-time to full-time based on performance evaluations included Jennifer Bruce, Brian Craig, Joseph Scott, Robyn Wilson, Travis Miller, Dominic Parker and Rachel Springfield.
In final business, court members heard a brief presentation from Jailer Terry Elder concerning the “cramped” kitchen space at the jail. “We knew when we were building the new edition that the kitchen was small but to make it the proper size would have added another $1.5 million or so,” Elder explained. “It was built to serve approximately 124 meals a day. We’re up to 800 meals a day now and we must expand in order to stay in compliance with the Department of Corrections.”
Elder said the major concern was proper cleaning of the kitchen.
“It’s bumper-to-bumper down there right now, we barely have room to get around. And the main problem is we don’t have time to clean the kitchen between meals. We are going to be ‘written-up’ upon each inspection because of the cleaning problems unless we expand. Right now, we’re getting by with it because I’m telling inspectors we’re planning on expanding in the very near future.” Elder stated that he had already contacted an architect and the cost of a 22.5’ wide x 40’ in length addition would be approximately $300,000-$350,000. “It (new kitchen) would be a separate building about 15 feet from the main building with a breezeway in between. That would be the most cost effective,” said Elder. “What makes me sick is we’ll have to pay almost as much in architect fees as we will in actual construction.”
Judge Townsend agreed that the county must expand the kitchen. It was also noted that in a recent meeting, the county agreed on a lower-than-usual fee for the architect.
“If we’re going to stay in the business, we’ll have to expand in order to comply with state guidelines. We never thought it (jail) would get this big,” he stated. “But fortunately we’ve talked the architect down from 12 percent (of the cost of the entire project) to 9.5 percent for his fee.”
After further discussion, Magistrate Brown made a motion to proceed with the initial phase of the project and present the architect’s plan at the next meeting. The motion passed with a 3-0 vote.
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