A heating project for Coaldale Fire Company was ordered rebid by the Schuylkill County Commissioners at their work session held Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville because the low bidder withdrew his bid.

The program is being funded by the county's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Gary Bender, who manages the program, informed the commissioners that Rosenberger Plumbing and Heating Inc., of Pottsville, which submitted the lowest bid of $44,000, withdrew.

Bender said the next bidder, Bognet Inc., Hazleton, bid $56,489, which was deemed over the budget allotted for the project.

Bender also reported that the plans for the fire house project are being revised to reduce the costs. The original plan was to install a coal burner because the fire company has been offered free coal from a generous coal dealer and also to heat the engine room. The revised plans are to eliminate installing piping into the engine room.

Bender also told the commissioners that he has directed the county solicitor's office to determine legal action against Rosenberger for withdrawing.

New bids for the heating system upgrade must be submitted to the office of County Controller Christy Joy by Tuesday, Aug. 5, and will be opened at the commissioners meeting on Thursday, Aug. 8. Normally the commissioners meet on Wednesdays, but that week they will be at the state commissioners' conference and will not get back until late Wednesday so the meeting was moved to Thursday.

Other business

Bender also reported work is ready to begin on construction of a storm water system in the village of Oneida, East Union Township, which received $70,000 from the county's CDBG program, and on Spruce Street in the village of Donaldson in Foster Township, which received a grant of $32,021.85.

However, Bender reported the storm sewer project for McAdoo, for which a grant of $64,840 was awarded, has been temporarily halted because the borough could not come up with additional funds as its borough council was unable to adopt a tax increase.

The project was to install the storm drains on Hancock Street, and will be listed for a future project to give the borough more time to come up with the funds.

Buy machines

The commissioners approved the purchase an additional 35 electronic voting machines, three scanners, and software at a cost of $57,054.25, which will increase the total of machines on hand to around 600.

The commissioners also authorized the retention of the U.S. Communities Agency, which is a nonprofit government purchasing cooperative that helps public agencies reduce the cost of purchased goods by combining the purchasing power of public agencies nationwide.

This objective is accomplished by competitively soliciting quality products by a single lead public agency and making the resulting contracts available to other public agencies nationwide. The use of the program is available to cities, counties, schools, universities, colleges, special districts, boroughs, villages, and nonprofit organizations.

The commissioners approved participating in the Pennsylvania Select Plus Program to purchase Microsoft software through a state contract program.