County’s RFP process to be reviewed after questions raised

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Commission will decide award of new EMS station project

While the county’s consultant recommends the contract for the Jackson County EMS Station #3 be awarded to Blue Frog Construction for $636,414.94, questions have been raised about the Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

Those questions have prompted commissioners to request County Manager Kevin Poe review the RFP process.

Don Clerici of BM&K recommended Blue Frog Construction after the project was advertised. Eight contractors provided proposals but there were questions about the Blue Frog proposal since it did not have a base bid written down as required by the RFP.

According to Keith Hayes, who was another of those submitting a proposal, the Blue Frog package should have been disqualified at the opening but it was not.

Hayes spoke Monday to the Jackson Count Board of commissioners with Chairman Hunter Bicknell recusing himself from the proceedings. He turned the meeting over to Chairman pro tem Chas Hardy.

In a memo to commissioners, Clerici said, “The lowest responsive and responsible bidder was Blue Frog Construction, Suwanee, Georgia. The low bid with alternate/base bid is $636,414.94. The bid tabs and all required information have been reviewed by the Architect and staff and all are in agreement to recommend award to the low bidder.”

At the Monday work session, Hayes was joined by a number of his Jackson County subcontractors whose combined economic impact of the project would have totaled $473,449.

Hayes gave an accounting of the bid opening day and questioned if what was done – providing Blue Frog with an opportunity to hear all the other bids read and then allowing the company to “submit” its proposal – was proper.

Hayes was also joined by attorney Mitch Musser, who urged the commission to reject the Blue Frog proposal since the process resulted in Blue Frog having an unfair advantage over those companies who had properly followed the guidelines.

Poe said he would research the situation and report back to the commission which is to consider the EMS station vote at the May 21 meeting.

The commission will hold only one meeting in June rather than the standard two announced Bicknell. The commission will meet at 6 p.m. on June 11.