City of Lumberton Does Not Support Local Businesses

I noticed the work on the roof of the Lumberton Museum is going great but I wonder if the people of Lumberton know that the elected officials of Lumberton are not interested in supporting local businesses. The money raised for the museum came from current and former residents of Lumberton; when the bidding process was opened, the representative for Hickman and Associates (Firm used by the City of Lumberton to secure grant money for the airport) assured Mrs. Bogle and the other members of the Lumberton Museum Committee that they could select the company they wanted to use since the monies for the project were obtained through donations. Well, somewhere during that process, the rules he outlined changed. The museum committee wanted to use a local contractor but it seems that the board was not on board. I made calls to city hall to see if I could obtain a copy of the bids but I had to file a FOI request. After looking over the submitted bids, the most professional bid came from Owen Construction in Lumberton. I heard there was an error on one of the bids and Owen Construction had to submit a correction to the bid but for some reason the updated bid is not part of the official record of the bids at City Hall. With all the other missing documents, I guess an amended bid that would actually show Owen Construction as the lowest bid is another one of those things that just happens under the not so watchful eye of Merlene Wall. Maybe she should get her eyes checked...again. After all, she convinced herself that I was stalking her at Ramey's when I was there for the bacon sale. I was stalking a hog but it was the type that had been cured, sliced, packaged and added to the one day sale. I guess I can see how she got confused.

As I rummaged through the papers, I looked at the bids again and I still was not able to locate the addendum to the bid submitted by Owen Construction. That correction was vital because it actually qualified Owen Construction as the lowest bidder. Unfortunately, the board did not want to use the option of rejecting the bids and starting over. Instead, they went with the Chandler Group out of Purvis, Mississippi. I just find it strange that the "good old boys" you all have so much faith in are looking for ways to keep local businesses out of the loop. But it's not only happening at city hall; it's also happening at the Lumberton School District. It's funny how those in charge want all the citizens to jump on board to support their causes but they never make an effort to support the local businessmen and women that actually invest in the City of Lumberton. I could barely read the material list on the bid from the Chandler Group but their bid was $14,650.00. The original bid submitted by Owen Construction was $14,920.00 but with the correction the bid was $12,720.00. The bid from Achee Builders was 26,750.00 (I guess they were going to add a roof and a new restroom). The copies of the bids are at the end of this post and I got a copy of the amended bid from a concerned citizen.

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