GREENCASTLE -- Approval to award a bid and begin a project to replace a 40-ton heating and air conditioning unit on the roof of the Putnam County Jail has been delayed by the Putnam County Commissioners.
At their meeting Monday, commissioners decided to wait on giving their OK to go forward with the project until they were sure they were doing so correctly.
Two proposals were on the table -- one from Trane in Indianapolis for $52,510 and one from Perfection Group Inc. for $51,950. Both companies are based in Indianapolis.
The commissioners were presented with the proposals at their last meeting two weeks ago.
"How did we get these proposals?" Commissioner Jim Baird asked.
County Planner Kim Hyten said he was approached by representatives from Trane and Perfection after stories about the upcoming project appeared in the Banner Graphic.
"I did not ask anyone to come; they contacted me," Hyten said.
Hyten said the job had not been put out for bid.
"My concern is procedure," Baird said. "I'm wondering if we shouldn't re-bid this."
County Attorney Scott Hoff said there were different parameters on bidding for different types of projects. He wasn't sure if the jail unit project, by law, had to be put out for bid, but told the commissioners he would "have an answer for you tomorrow."
Hyten said he understood the commissioners' trepidation, but that time was of the essence.
"The whole process will take six to eight weeks," he said. "If we can get this accomplished by the end of March or first of April, that would be good."
The new unit will heat and cool several areas of the jail including the administration offices, kitchen and book-in area.
Hyten said a local company was interested in removing the old unit from the jail roof, and that it would be taken to the county's highway department facility to be disassembled and sold for scrap.
The commissioners approved moving the offices of Putnam County Rural Transit to the courthouse annex (they are currently housed at Greencastle City Hall) pending an OK from the county's insurance carrier.
Rural transit buses would be kept in the parking lot on the east side of the annex.
"Before we do it, someone has to check with the insurance company," Hoff said. "This would be outside normal operation ... you'd basically be allowing a taxicab service to be operating out of a government building."
The commissioners also revisited the possibility of hiring an outside company, SRI Inc. of Indianapolis, to organize and conduct a live or Internet sale of the 356 properties that did not sell at a tax sale on Nov. 3.
"It may be a waste of time to do it now with the real estate market the way it is," Hoff said.
The commissioners agreed to discuss the measure again after the first of the year.
The unsold properties represent just over $1.2 million in uncollected taxes. The majority of the properties are at Van Bibber Lake.
The commissioners will meet at 9 a.m. on Dec. 28 to approve the last of the 2009 claims.