BENTON - Representatives from a communications vendor passed over by the Scott County commission left disappointed for a second time Tuesday.
Insisting the commission was not following its own written purchasing policy, JCS/Tel-Link of Cape Girardeau representatives asked commissioners during Tuesday's meeting to reverse their earlier decision to award the contract to set up a communications system for the sheriff's department to G&D Communications of Sikeston.
G&D was awarded the contract during the county's Dec. 19 meeting, offering a two-console system for $60,047.
"This one's going to be so much better than what they have over there now," said Presiding Commissioner Martin Priggel regarding the new communication system.
Reg Swan, vice president for JCS, said, however, that his company actually submitted the lowest bid that conformed to the specifications and should therefore have received the contract.
Commissioners explained as they understood things, JCS's bids ranged nearly $6,000 in price from a minimal system to what commissioners understood to be their recommended system costing $64,429. The county requested a variety of options from vendors, commissioners said. Also bidding was Dittronics Two-Way Radio of Benton.
"A recommendation is not the same as a bid," Swan said.
Swan also criticized components of G&D's proposed system, in particular a tower which he claims will be inadequate for the number of antennas his competitor plans to mount on it, among other items. "I question the validity of his techniques," Swan said, "until I see certification (from the manufacturer)."
Dwight Hensley, sales representative for G&D, countered that what matters is square foot area for the antennas, and that he could even add additional antennas "and still be within specs."
Commissioner Jamie Burger said he believes all three bidders to be competent and is confident G&D will do an adequate job. "They guarantee it is going to work for us," he said.
In the end, commissioners maintained that the final decision is entirely up to them. "That's what we're elected for - to make the best decision for the county," Priggel said.
In other Scott County commission business Tuesday:
* The contract to provide pest control services this year at the sheriff's office and new county jail was awarded to the low bidder, Terminix of Sikeston, which offered their services at $75 per month.
Terminix was contracted last year at $45 per month for just the sheriff's offices.
Also bidding were Custom Pest Control of Benton which offered the services for $100 per month; Brad Greer Total Pest Control of Dexter which bid $175 per month; and Woody and Son from the Sikeston area which offered pest control for $400 per month.
* The county will request bids for a new emergency call recorder for the county's E-911 center in Morley.
Joe Burton, county E-911 administrator, said the DAT tape that captures data dumps from the system's hard drive went down Christmas day.
The unit is obsolete and can not be repaired, according to Burton. "The company doesn't even build them anymore."
Burton said he is presently using a makeshift system for backing up the calls. "We manually dump the data on to a tape," he said.
* Scott County Economic Developer Jim Schwaninger showed commissioners a preliminary county logo design put together by his son, a graphic artist.
Schwaninger said they were looking at a "grow with us" type of theme and are incorporating ideas submitted by a Southeast Missouri State University marketing class.
Schwaninger said he is also looking into a local records preservation grant.
* Jim O'Neal and Janet Grooms of Morley and James Eberhard of Sikeston were reappointed to three-year terms on the county's Senate Bill 40 board.
* Commissioners confirmed the grand opening for the new county jail will be held at 1 p.m. Jan. 25. Tours will follow.