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Commission wants transport contract rebid

It’s back to the drawing board for coming up with bids for a non-emergency transport contract for Lawrence County Department of Job and Family Services.

Last month the Lawrence County Commission opened bids from three companies seeking a contract to provide the transport service. However one of those bids came from the Lawrence County Port Authority, which prompted the question on whether it was a conflict of interest for that governmental agency to try for the contract.

Even though a prosecutor’s opinion said there wasn’t a conflict, the port authority’s participation in the bidding has caused the commission to reject all bids, that also included Sureway Cab and G&P Meals and Transportation, and start over.

That’s because the port authority came in with the lowest bid of the three. “It gave me concerns,” Commissioner Jason Stephens said. “The port authority can’t charge less than a common carrier,” according to Ohio Revised Code.

Also the bid specifications vary with the contract requirements.

Stephens wanted the service rebid “where the bid reflects the dynamics of the contract,” he told Job and Family Services director Gene Myers at its Thursday meeting.

As a stopgap measure the commissioner extended the NET contract for 90 days with G&P Meals and Transportation, the current provided.

“This will allow us time to do this,” Myers said.

The commission also approved forwarding the application for Community Development Block grants totaling more than $200,000. The application must be filed by Friday.

Among the grants sought are $70,000 for slum and eyesore removal; $50,000 for Wayne National Forest: $30,000 for senior citizen meal service; $22,800 for partial roof replacement at the Chesapeake Community Center; and $20,000 for water tap assistance.

The grant for Wayne National Forest will fund building a bridge on ATV trails and be leveraged with $1.4 million in other federal money for the trail system designed to increase ATV tourism dollars.

“These projects with CDBG grants, they are the most flexible money we get from the federal government,” Stephens said. “To make the most of it takes a lot of work.”

He cited that the number of eyesore houses slated for demolition in 2010 is an increase over last year.

“And the community center, I go through there every evening and it is always packed,” he said. “It has been the heart of Chesapeake and all over.”

In other business the commission:

Approved a resolution in support of the construction of improved passenger parking at the Tri-State Airport.

Received the weekly dog warden’s report that stated 89 dogs were destroyed, three sold and four returned to owner.

Approved a bridge load rating contract with CDS Associates for consulting engineering service to load-rate five county bridges for $11,500.