For Columbia County, the third time trying to purchase a new motor grader seems to be the charm.
A bid on the equipment was approved Tuesday by the Columbia County Community and Emergency Services committee.
The grader had been bid twice, but the low bids were rejected because specifications on delivered equipment did not match those bid. Pam Tucker, the director of the Columbia County Emergency Management Agency, said overly detailed bids and features changing from one model year to another were the reason for rebidding the grader.
“It came down to things folding and not sliding, things like that,” she said. “So what we did was eliminate a lot of that specificity.”
The successful bid of $167,800 by ASC Construction Equipment on a Volvo G930B grader was $27,200 under budget.
“It took a long time, but I think we got it right,” Tucker said.
Also presented at the meeting was a progress report and rough timeline for the formation of the new Columbia/Warren/Lincoln County library district in July.
All three counties are part of the East Central Georgia Regional Library System. Community and Leisure Services Director Barry Smith said the next step is to appoint a transitional board that can lay the groundwork for the new system before a permanent board is appointed and takes over.
Committee members were concerned as to what the makeup of those boards might be. If each county is granted equal representation, Warren and Lincoln County would have a voting majority while representing about 10 percent of the population served. The committee would like to see boards formed based on population rather than geography.
“We have a regional draw,” said Commissioner Bill Morris, the committee chairman. “I’m not sure the other counties can claim that. I think that’s something we have to keep in mind.”
Smith said no preference had been voiced regarding the structure of either board, but said it is important to consider the wishes and well-being of all concerned.
“We want this to be amicable from the start,” he said. “We want everyone to be happy.”
Other items discussed included renewing a contract with the Symphony Augusta Orchestra for a four-concert series in Columbia County, moving the scheduled Oakley Bass Tournament from October to March when lake levels should be higher and approving a contract for the 3v3 Regional Soccer Tournament, a 100 team event in June.
The meeting was preceded by a meeting of the Columbia County Public Works Services Committee. Items discussed at that meeting included the reduction of speed limits on sections of Baker Place, Gibbs Road and Harlem Grovetown Road in addition to the need to look at reducing above-budget bids on a Savannah Rapids Pavilion deck replacement project and construction of entrance gates at Evans Towne Center Park. The bid items will appear on the debate agenda of the Oct. 30 Columbia County Commission meeting.