Bids discussed on new police station construction

The Sweetwater City Commission held a brief discussion on Tuesday on the bids for the construction of a new police department.During the September 10 meeting, six bids were opened, with the price ranging from $5.3 to $6.7 million. The item was tabled at that meeting, however, in order for the architect to review the bids in detail.At Tuesday's meeting, City Manager Eddie Brown expressed that the bids came in higher than expected, which left the commissioners with the option to accept the low bid or reject all of the bids. Thus, approval was given to reject the bids.Dr. Jerod Peek, precinct 4 commissioner, stated that the city recognized and appreciated the effort made by the bidders throughout the bid process. However, the city will continue with construction plans and consider other options, such as possibly reducing the scope of the project, in order to attract other interested bidders.Also during the meeting, approval was given for city staff to purchase two items through the low bid offered by the state-approved Buy Board. One item is an ambulance for EMS, as the current models are from 2008, 2006, 1999 and 1995. The 1995 model will be replaced by the new purchase, in which the low bid proves to be the best option for replacement. The approval allows for Grant Madden, the city's Emergency Services Director Grant Madden, to negotiate the best deal.The second item to be purchased will be a pumper truck for the Fire Department. The truck to be replaced was purchased five years ago and was a used, 1983 model.The pumper truck failed a recent test and due to continual past repairs, the best option is to purchase a new truck--although the purchase was scheduled to take place next year. The cost of the pumper truck is anticipated to be anywhere from $250,000 to $300,000.