Air conditioner bids come in low enough for grant

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, July 17, 2012

NATCHEZ — The Natchez Board of Aldermen awarded a contract for an air conditioning project at a specially called meeting Monday afternoon in an effort to get the project completed before it loses funding.

The aldermen awarded the contract to Thorpe Sheet Metal, which had the lowest of three bids at approximately $65,800.

The aldermen previously awarded the contract, upon approval by City Attorney Hyde Carby, to Thorpe. Carby and the engineering department, however, found all three previous bids were irregular and had to be thrown out.

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The project is being funded by $67,000 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds left over from a grant from the Mississippi Development Authority’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program to replace bulbs in traffic lights with LED bulbs.

All parts used in ARRA-funded projects must be American-made, and in the case of this project, the new air conditioning units must have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio rating of 15.

Neither of those two stipulations were included or clearly defined in the three bids that were originally submitted to the city, Carby said.