County proceeding on a fixed library line @ LCC 2012-12-10

Scoring for library architect selection seems more rigorous now, at yesterday morning’s Lowndes County Commission Work Session. But where are the scores? And what are the names of the two finalists? They vote or table tonight at 5:30 PM.

8.h. New Main Library — Construction Manager At Risk Selection

Project Manager Chad McCleod said proposals had been received from nine firms, and “using a score sheet with certain grading criteria” staff narrowed them down to three offers. Each firm gave a one-hour presentation last Friday to the selection committee which again “used certain grading criteria to score each firm”. The top two scorers were Coffee[?] Construction and Quillian Powell Construction.

I applaud actually using scoring, instead of what appeared to happen for the main library architect selection, with a relatively elaborate selection process including a scoring sheet that then apparently wasn’t actually used in the architect selection. But where are these filled-out score sheets for the applicants this time, so we the taxpayers can see them?

The Commission could have staff submit written reports that go in the agenda and minutes, like the Library Board does, and then put those online as PDF or HTML linked to an HTML agenda, like Glynn County and Richmond County do, and we wouldn’t have to guess the names of construction firms.

County Manager Joe Pritchard said “the reason we have moved forward” even though SPLOST failed was “only to put the team together if and when funds become available in the future”.

The Chairman and Commissioner Raines mentioned that there are other sources of funds for a library, and Raines even said:

This is not even related to SPLOST.

Hm, why was it in the county’s SPLOST project list, then?

It appears the county hasn’t even considered whether the Five Points location was maybe part of why SPLOST failed, and maybe they should consider for example the federal building downtown. I’m a big supporter of libraries, but I’m also a big supporter of elected governments listening to the people, and the people just voted down SPLOST, with many of them saying the library and auditorium projects with their opaque selection processes were part of the reason. Meanwhile Houston County had public hearings about their SPLOST, which voters then approved in a landslide.

Here’s the video:

County proceeding on a fixed library line
Work Session, Lowndes County Commission (LCC),
Video by Gretchen Quarterman for Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange (LAKE), Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 10 December 2012.