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County back tracks on tractor purchase, new bids opened

After objections over fair bidding practices by the county were raised by a local tractor dealer, the Grady Commission on Tuesday rescinded a motion to purchase two new John Deere tractors and opened new bids on comparable models.
Durie Cooper, owner of South Georgia Tractor Company, appeared before the board to make the commissioners aware of his concerns with the bid process utilized by the county road department recently for the purchase of two new tractors.
“When you put bids out you need to be more specific. Everybody needs to bid on the same thing. I was asked to bid on a particular tractor and then the competition bid on something totally different,” Cooper told board members Tuesday night.
At its Feb. 5 meeting, after much discussion about the specs of the tractors being bid on, the commission voted to accept the apparent low bid of $48,167.20 from GreenSouth for the purchase of two tractors and four mowers. South Georgia Tractor’s bid on the two tractors and mowers was $51,714.00.
However, Cooper noted the tractor bid by GreenSouth was not comparable to the tractor he bid on.
Grady County Road Superintendent Yancey Maxwell admitted the specs on the tractors for which bids were received were not equal and he said he had been “misled” by representatives of the local John Deere dealership.
When bids were opened again this week South Georgia Tractor was not only the low bidder, but the company’s bid for the two tractors had dropped from $39,930 to $38,980.
The revised John Deere bid was $55,373.68 for comparable tractors.
Based on the road superintendent’s recommendation, the county will still purchase the four mowers from GreenSouth at a low bid of $11,000, but will purchase the two new tractors from South Georgia Tractor.
Cooper said he was not criticizing the commissioners, but noted “you need to be bidding on the same level field when you bid equipment.”
County Commission Chairman Billy Poitevint thanked Cooper for making the board aware of the discrepancies and for coming before the board.

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