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Only one bid received for lightning protection system at Carbon County Correction Facility

Published June 15. 2012 05:01PM

A project that Carbon County officials have been working on for years may still not be resolved.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board opened bids for the lightning protection system at the Carbon County Correctional Facility in Nesquehoning.

Only one bid out of seven interested companies was received. The bid, from Albarell Electric Inc. of Bethlehem, came in at $45,970 for the project.

Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard voiced concerns over the bid because there was nothing else to compare it to.

"We don't know what kind of numbers these are," he said. "Is it a good price?"

He made a motion to table the bids for review.

Commissioner William O'Gurek asked if the county was at risk of losing its insurance coverage if the lightning strikes keep happening.

Eloise Ahner, county administrator, said that a study was done by the county's insurance provider on counties that have been the victim of multiple lightning strikes. They then recommended ways to protect the structure and electronics.

"If this continues, they could come back and say if you don't do something, you won't be covered," she said. "But we've been lucky so far. It's covered right now."

Robert Crampsie, county controller, said that he was concerned because there were seven interested companies who attended the pre-bid meeting.

"Can we reach out to the others and see why they didn't bid," he asked. "What were their reasons?"

Daniel Miscavige, county solicitor, said the county can ask other companies that attended the pre-bid meeting why they didn't bid because it didn't conflict with the current process at hand.

O'Gurek said that this project has been in the works for quite some time.

Last July, the county hired an engineer to draw up the project specifications at a cost of just under $5,000.

"At that time, they told us it (the project) would be around $13,000," he said. "But from last July to now, told $50,000."

He agreed with Gerhard, saying that the county needs to have its engineer look at the bid to see if the price is good or if it is high.

The board tabled the bids for two weeks so that further discussion, investigation and information can be gathered.

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