Bids for Sale???

There’s never a dull moment in the City of Lumberton. Despite what you think of me or my quest for accountability; my goal, unlike others, is for the advancement of Lumberton. At the latest board meeting, the city’s engineer opened bids to begin work on the roof at the Lumberton Museum. There were three bids but the lowest two were from a local contractor and a contractor in Purvis. During the meeting, the city’s engineer informed Mrs. Kathleen Bogle that since the monies for this project was raised through donations, they were not required to accept the lowest bid. After the meeting, Mrs. Bogle and other members on the Museum Committee expressed their desire to hire a local contractor. The engineer said he would question those with the lowest bids to ensure the work was up to par.

Less than a week later, it seems that the engineer has suggested the City of Lumberton accept the bid of the contractor from Purvis. Here’s the twist, prior to his recommendation, the engineer contacted the local contractor to see if he made an error on the bid and he discovered he did make an error. The local contractor submitted a letter, outlining the error, and the correction made his bid the lowest. Butttttttttttttttt……Mayor Kent Crider and the Board of Alderpersons are making plans to go forward with the other bid that was allegedly recommended by the engineer, despite the corrections submitted by the local contractor.

The money raised for the Lumberton Museum was done by concerned citizens of Lumberton and the Museum Committee expressed their desire to hire locally but it seems that your elected officials are not interested in supporting local business people and they’re ready to award the contract to a contractor from Purvis. Since there seems to be a problem with the bidding process, the best thing to do is to reject all bids and start over; it’s not going to cost them anything but a few weeks delay in the start date of the proposed work since the city has already decided to waive the building permit fees for the museum in order to save money. If you support local business, then you should contact city hall (601) 796-8341 or your elected officials and demand they reject the bids and start over. If we want Lumberton to grow, we must invest in Lumberton. We can’t keep outsourcing work and think we’re making great strides because an out of town contractor buys a burger in town. It’s time to invest locally.

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