In April 2 IssueBy Greg WellsTimes Journal Managing Editor
The members of the fiscal court moved ahead with construction of a new jail in a special called meeting March 26th.
They began by paying the city of Russell Springs the $1 for the property to construct it on. Bid openings were held for the geotechnical services, architectural firm and construction management firm and the grading bid was awarded to Brockman Construction.
That bid for preparing the site for construction had been opened at the previous meeting of the court.
The newly opened geotechnical bids were held for more information.
"We need to know their hourly rate to know for sure which is the best price," said Gary Robertson.
The magistrate was commenting on the seeming completeness of the bid from one company, but the company with the lower bid lacked some of the same information.
Though it was not on the agenda of the special called meeting the court went into executive session to discuss the merits of the bids away from public scrutiny.
County Attorney Mark McGaha sited KRS 61.810 (g) as the exemption from the Kentucky Open Meetings Law that was to allow the secret discussion of how to spend taxpayers' money. That exemption is the one used by cities and industrial boards to keep private their discussions with new businesses they wish to attract to the area, or existing businesses they are attempting to retain.
After over an hour and a half in the backroom, at times with the bidders, the magistrates and judge voted to award the architectural and construction management contracts to Branstetter Carroll and Branscom Construction respectively.
There was no discussion of the expansive bid proposals after the closed-door session. One magistrate simply said Branscom's was the cheapest bid and another said Branstetter Carroll's was the better bid from the more professional bidder.
Other items on the agenda were approval of a free trash disposal day and allocation of $105,000 to a new account to build the jail. All of which were okayed.