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Bidding error leads county to change electric contractor
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Nov. 18, 2008) — A bidding error led to a last-minute change Monday morning on which electric company will be hired to help install an emergency electrical generator at the Pulaski County Courthouse.

County commissioners had voted Thursday to award Lighthouse Electric of Crocker, owned by J.C. Southard, the bid of $4,302.16 for electrical work on the generator installation. That was dramatically less than bids of $15,900 from K. York Electric of Crocker and $16,110 from Quality Electric of Brumley. In a separate bid, Piney River Contracting of Devil’s Elbow was awarded a $4,926 bid to install a concrete pad on which the generator will sit.

County Clerk Diana Linnenbringer said Monday that she found a problem one day after the bids were awarded.

“On the electric bid, a representative from Lighthouse Electric called me on Friday and said they wanted to withdraw their bid because they failed to include the cost of the wire in their bid,” Linnenbringer said. “I spoke to the commissioners by phone on Friday and their suggestion was to ask Lighthouse Electric as well as K. York Electric to submit new bids for just the electric.”

Commissioner Bill Farnham had concerns.

“Before we open this bid, should we try to call this other company and get them on speaker phone and verify for the record that they want to withdraw their bid?” Farnham asked.

Presiding Commissioner Bill Ransdall said that’s probably not necessary.

“They were going to fax all the information,” Ransdall said, noting that K. York Electric submitted a new bid proposal for $13,400 but nobody from Lighthouse Electric did so.

“Can we force them to honor their bid since they haven’t sent us a withdrawal?” Farnham asked.

Ransdall said that would create more difficulties because the electric and concrete companies are supposed to be working together on a short timeline.

“The problem with that is it will delay our project,” Ransdall said. “Very probably we could, but that generator is supposed to be here (Nov. 19) and it is supposed to be out there. It is going to be 10 percent of the cost, which is about $7,000, to hold it.”

In other business:

• Commissioners voted to accept a Bank of Crocker financing proposal for 4.2 percent interest for dump truck financing.

• After reviewing a proposal from the Missouri Department of Transportation to fix a longstanding flooding problem near the Fox Crossing area of Highway 133 west of Dixon, commissioners agreed to allow MoDOT workers to install better culverts across Cypress Road.

• Farnham reported that attempts to repair the Jones Creek Bridge near Dixon ran into trouble over the weekend.

“They had big huge boulders blocking the bridge on both sides and had signs up saying ‘road closed,’” Farnham said. “Apparently over the weekend, somebody moved the boulders. How they did it without a backhoe I don’t know, and they peeled their tires and left big black marks on the new concrete that was just poured. They also left the gates open for three of the farmers and let their cattle get out.”

Neighbors were able to get a description of the suspects and their vehicle that’s been turned over to law enforcement, Farnham said.

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