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Added work flies just below bid requirement

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By Jeff M. Hardison

BRONSON - By juggling some expenses, the Levy County Board of County Commissioners awarded a job worth just under $10,000 to Scherer Construction and Engineering of Gainesville without seeking bids.

This item was not on the agenda for the Feb. 5 meeting, but the County Commission unanimously approved hearing the request, just as it approved the work.

Levy County Public Health Director Barbara Locke asked the commission for money to add wheelchair ramps and to replace railings at the Bronson headquarters for county health. The price quoted for this work was about $12,389, according to records.

Locke said the Health Department could pay about $2,193 for the concrete. That still left about $196 for the work to stay below the $10,000 bid ceiling. After some quick consultation with Levy County Attorney Anne Brown, commissioners learned that if Locke could negotiate with Scherer or if she could bring the Health Department's share of covering the expense so that the county's portion would be below $10,000, then there would be no need to seek bids from other contractors.

Scherer Construction and Engineering was at the Health Department in Bronson as it added a $36,000 modular building to serve the Women, Infants and Children program. Since it was on site, Locke saw the company as being available to fix some issues to bring the building into better compliance with the Americans with Disadvantaged Act.

People who have wheelchairs and walkers must go to the rear of the Health Department now, she said, to have access into the building.

On a motion by Commissioner Lilly Rooks, seconded by Commissioner Nancy Bell, the commission agreed to pay for the work as long as its portion was below the $10,000 bid threshold.

In another health matter, Locke said there was a great turnout for the recent strategic health initiative meeting. She said there would be another meeting in a couple of months.