ALBANY, Ga. — The Dougherty County Library Board voted at a special called meeting Tuesday afternoon to wait until its regularly scheduled Jan. 22 meeting to decide which construction firm to use for some $5 million in special-purpose local-option sales tax-funded improvements on the county’s Central Library branch.
Board treasurer Walter Kelley, who served as chairman during the meeting, asked board members if they wanted to make a motion to select one of two low bidders on the project (Talbot Construction Co. of Atlanta and Kinney Construction Co. of Lee County), to hold off on making a recommendation until they’d considered advice given by legal council John Stephenson during an hourlong executive session, or if they’d like to simply adjourn the meeting.
Board member James Hill said, “Given the information presented and other issues we need to review, I strongly recommend we take that vote on Tuesday after Martin Luther King Day and the public has been properly notified.”
The board, including new member John Hayes, the Dougherty County Commission’s District 2 representative, voted unanimously to support Hill’s motion.
Talbot’s base bid ($3.5 million) was slightly less than Kinney’s $3,553,277 bid. Three other companies (LRA Constructors, Pellicano Construction Co. and Quillian Powell Cosntruction Co.) offered bids within $325,000 of Talbot’s low bid. There were, however, seven alternates that were to be considered by each company.
“I think it’s a wise decision to follow the advice of our attorney,” Kelley said after the vote. “We’re trying to do the best thing for the library, to consider everything before we ultimately award the bid to the most responsive bidder.”
Kelley said most of the $5 million in SPLOST funding has been earmarked for internal improvements, but he said the board hopes there is funding left to “spruce up the exterior” as well. He also noted that construction should start within 60 days of the signing of a contract and that the work could take from seven to nine months.
The Jan. 22 meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at the Northwest Library branch at 5:30 p.m.