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Susquehanna County Fields Queries on Contracts

—By Sandra Raub—

At the regular Susquehanna County Commissioners’ meeting on Oct. 12, regular business conducted included the opening of sealed bids received for both a new generator for the county courthouse and HVAC services. The generator bid had a deadline of Oct. 5, with just one bid received from Reed’s Generators for a cost of $42,660, with an additional optional fee for removal and disposal of the old generator.

According to the commissioners, the old generator is more than 30 years old, making it very difficult to get parts when repairs are needed, but some discussion was held concerning its disposal. If it can be determined that it is worth something on resale, the county will explore that option, rather than paying to have it simply removed.

The bid for HVAC services had a deadline of Oct. 7, and three were received and opened. Each will require further review in order to weigh the merits and costs before the contract can be awarded.

The commissioners also approved the posting for sale at bid of three county-owned vehicles and an enclosed trailer, which will be sold to the highest bidder or for junk value. Further information on these items can be had by contacting the Chief Clerk at 570-278-4600. The bidding period will be at least ten days and bids may be submitted to the Chief Clerk's office.

Immediately following the formal closing of the meeting, the commissioners took a few moments to field questions from the public concerning the bidding process in general for assorted county-awarded contracts. Visitors expressed concern that contractors who bid on these jobs might be padding their estimates, knowing that a municipality is picking up the tab versus the price they might quote a private individual or company. The questioner added that it seemed that the companies bidding on the jobs were not immediately local, and that also sparked some concern.

Commissioner Michael Giangrieco stated that he hoped that the bidding process itself encouraged contractors to offer their best price in hope of getting the award, but admitted that the scenario presented is always a possibility. He also explained that by law all jobs estimated to cost over $10,000 must be put out to bid, and that the county often regrets that the somewhat complex process of bidding may deter some local businesses from bidding. He added that the county has been very pleased by the work done by local suppliers and hopes that they will continue to be part of the system in the future.

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