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In defense of votes against contracts
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Dear Editor,

On June 29, 2010, page 8, the Effingham Herald had a write up of the IDA meeting of June 22, 2010, during which the 2011 budget was voted on, plus a contract for site clearing and grading of Highway 21 industrial site. First I vote “no” to approve the budget of $3,756,271 clearing contract.
I first questioned the item listed as capital office furnishings, $25,000. I questioned John Henry, the IDA CEO, who states it was for audio/visual equipment with no previous estimates of cost, just a number picked out of air.
Next I questioned the purchase of a new vehicle in the budget of capital vehicle $30,000. This vehicle would replace a 2004 GMC purchase in November 2007 for $17,000, less the sale of 03 Chevrolet to the Chamber of Commerce for $5,000 after being offered $6,000 for the 03 Chevrolet van.
Purchased vehicles
2003 Chevy van 12-30-02 $29,316
2005 Chevy Suburban 7-21-05 $33,725
2004 GMC pickup 11-27-07 $17,000
2009 Chevy Suburban 8-13-09 $30,112
A total of $110,153
Additional cost for these vehicles do not include $2,600 for new transmissions on an 05 Chevy, $1,250 for tires and water pump, oil changes and repairs, etc.
The Herald states that John Henry comments that there was a reduction in the budget from $4,638,865 (2010) to 2011 budget of $3,756,271.
The reduction was the result of loss of EIP grant of $500,000 and Edge grant of $200,000. Monies for a $700,000 reduction with no reduction in the millage rate where the revenue comes from Effingham tax payer.
I would like to see some reduction in the budget but the other board members are apparently unaware that the other taxing agencies are reducing their costs. How many people do you know who have lost their jobs or being effected by the current economic conditions in reductions of hours or expenses?
Again, I would not have voted for the budget since it contained $50,000 for a professional contract with the Chamber of Commerce that I voted against in 2008 and 2009. I will vote against the contract when it comes up later this year in the IDA board. There were nine bids from a low of $123,585.60 to a high of $362,596.60 for the clearing and grading of the industrial site of Highway 21.
The three lowest bids were:
Gary Crews Construction Co. $120,585.60
Clifton Construction $133,777.77
Harco Construction $140,500.00
The Crews Co. is based in Screven County, and the Clifton Co. is based in Chatham County, while Harco is a homegrown company of Effingham County.
I favored the Harco Co. in order to keep the money in Effingham County even if their bid was $19,914 more than the Crews Co. Approving the lowest bid in this case sent all the money $120,555.60 to Screven County, Crews Co. will result in all fuel money/salaries and expenses going to Screven or Bulloch County. I guess the Crews workers will brown bag. I did not vote for awarding the contract to Crews Co. 
Arthur Rud Sr.