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Repairs to damaged lighting system at Barber Park approved

A section of lighting at Grady County’s Barber Park will soon be repaired after having been damaged in a lightning storm last year.
According to Grady County Commission Chairman Billy Poitevint, the electrical system powering the field lights has been re-engineered following the near fatal accident involving a county employee in July 2012.
On Tuesday, commissioners received bids from electrical contractors for the lighting project at the county’s recreation facility.
Five bids were received with the lowest being Gandy Electric, a local contractor, at a cost of $28,400. The next lowest bidder was Allen’s Electric Service, also of Grady County, that bid $30,975.
Commissioners questioned Building and Grounds Superintendent Brian Harrison about the qualifications and work experience of Gandy Electric.
According to Harrison, he knew of no problem with Gandy doing the required scope of work at Barber Park.
However, the county will require contractors to carry $500,000 of liability insurance coverage before a contract will be issued. According to Harrison, the insurance requirement had not been made until the bids were received.
Chairman Poitevint asked if a performance bond would also be required, but Harrison said the county traditionally has only required the liability insurance coverage.
The chairman noted a large variance in the low bid and the high bid of $75,000 submitted by David Jacobs Electric. Superintendent Harrison pointed out the other four bidders submitted bids that were relatively close.
The other bids received were $34,993 from Big Oak Electrical Services, LLC, and $36,863 from Bannisters Electric Co.
Commissioner LaFaye Copeland asked if all bidders were provided the same specifications for the job, and Harrison said that the recommendations from the electrical engineers and a bid packet was provided to each of the five contractors who bid.
The board voted unanimously to accept the low bid from Gandy Electric.
In other business, Commissioner Copeland asked Harrison how the rental of the Grady County Agri Center was working since new rental policies had been adopted by the board of commissioners.
Harrison and County Clerk Carrie Kines reported that while some parties had been booked at the facility, none has been held yet.
Commissioner Copeland also asked if county officials had heard back from officials with the Farm Service Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who rent office space at the agri-center.
Farm Service officials had expressed concerns about needed repairs and renovations at the facility and threatened to seek rental space elsewhere.
Both Commissioner Copeland and Vice Chairman T.D. David have urged Harrison to address concerns raised by the county’s tenants.
County Clerk Kines said this week her inquiries to officials in both the local office and in Washington, D.C., have been ignored to date.
“I have been emailing them and saving the emails so that we have a record,” Ms. Kines said.
“I’m concerned they have not responded. I’ve heard in the wind they are relocating,” Commissioner Copeland said.
On another building related topic, Commissioner Elwyn Childs requested Superintendent Harrison to make contact with a tree surgeon to cut back the large live oak tree on the courthouse lawn. Limbs of the majestic tree that survived the courthouse fire in 1981 are touching the courthouse roof.
“We mentioned a meeting or two ago that something needs to be done about it before it causes any damage,” Childs said.

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