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Water softener on hold again

By Staff | Mar 23, 2009

While they said yes to purchasing more furnishings and equipment for the new Law Enforcement Center, one item the county board put back on hold was the water softener system.

The commissioners had previously rejected an earlier round of water softener bids, re-written the specs, and called for new bids.

On Tuesday they learned they had received just two bids in this second round of proposals.

One was for $31,000 from Don’s Mechanical, while the other was for $15,625 from Culligan Soft Water.

County Auditor/Treas-urer John Thompson said the two bids had not been given an OK from the project construction manager.

“I don’t think we can approve this bid without Mike (Kearns, construction manager) having seen it,” board chairman Tom Loveall said.

Commissioner Tom Warmka agreed.

“I don’t want this so-called water-softener-gate to continue but we need to wait until Mike gets down here,” he said. “I’m tired of fighting on this – it makes us all look bad.”

Loveall reported to the other board members that he and Commissioner Bill Groskreutz had tried to figure out how much each system would use in salt, but that it was impossible to determine.

“One system has a single tank, and the other has two,” Loveall said. “They operate in different ways.”

The board voted to wait on accepting either of the two bids until they had been studied by the construction manager.

They did give Sheriff Mike Gormley the go-ahead to purchase more equipment and furniture for the LEC.

Included was $141,259 for a new 911 dispatch response system.

Gormley told the board that a quote for refurbishing the current system was $105,489.

“Our system is 12 years old and considered outdated,” Gormley told the board. “Plus the state may mandate we upgrade in the next couple of years.”

The commissioners agreed that the difference in price warranted purchasing a new system as opposed to keeping the old one and upgrading it.

They also approved purchasing 67 mattresses for the cells, chairs for around the facility, and four round tables at a total cost of $10,796.

The commissioners also gave a final approval to the new Prairie Transit guidelines, and agreed to circulate the new information in area newspapers.