Commission awards bid for control panel system at jail

Published 4:25 pm Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Chilton County Commission voted during the July 28 meeting to award a bid for $84,900 to Montgomery Electronics and Communications Services LLC for a control panel system at the Chilton County Jail.

Commissioners voted in May to accept two bids submitted for work for a control panel upgrade at the jail from MECS LLC with a base bid of $84,900, and Unique Security Inc. with a base bid of $98,600.

Chilton County Jail Warden Trae Barfield attended the July 28 meeting to offer input after reviewing both bids and suggested commissioners go with the lowest bidder MECS LLC.

“After doing the research, I think everything will work out with them,” Barfield said. “I think we should move forward with them and get the control panel fixed.”

Barfield explained to commissioners the control panel controls everything that goes on in the jail.

“Right now, we have to open things with a key,” Barfield said. “Without the control panel, we are having to go one by one and secure doors. We had the control panel system before and it started going downhill and getting worse and worse. The main thing is a security risk. We never know when a door will pop behind us, and it is a big security risk for us.”

A control panel allows jail personnel to control the unlocking and locking of doors in the jail.

Commissioners unanimously voted to award the bid in the amount of $84,900 with a five-year parts and labor warranty of $8,400.

The money will be taken out of the Capital Improvement Fund.

Commissioners also heard from Chilton County Airport Authority Chairman Craig Cleckler who provided an update to commissioners regarding work at the airport.

“A couple of years ago, when I first came on the board, I specifically talked about a vision I had for the airport,” Cleckler said. “I am here tonight to say it is no longer a vision, it is a reality.”

Cleckler updated commissioners on various projects at the airport as part of the airport’s expansion project.

“I hope everyone has seen the homes torn down off Lay Dam Road,” Cleckler said. “The airport purchased those as part of a land acquisition and those have all been torn down.”

The six parcels along Highway 145, adjacent to the airport, provided a clearing path to extend the airport’s runway.

A separate project to resurface the runway and add a lighting system providing additional lighting and upgrades to the current lighting that is more than 50 years old is in the process of being completed.

Cleckler said replacing the foundation for the runway proved to be a major disaster, delaying the project an additional 30 days.

“We ended up finding out that the foundation had such poor soil,” Cleckler said. “We found that it isn’t uncommon for airports, because airports are sometimes put at the worst point of land. We received an overrun grant from the FAA to be able to dig out that soil and replace it with good material, which should hold up for the next 50 years.”

Commissioners also discussed soliciting bids for repairing the existing incinerator at the Chilton County Humane Society.

Commissioners previously voted during the Feb. 10 commission meeting to solicit bids for a new incinerator.

Caton read two bids submitted, including one from Cremation Systems Inc. for $60,450 and Matthew’s Cremation for $68,115.

Commissioners discussed during the July 28 meeting the possibility of repairing the existing machine for a smaller price, as opposed to purchasing a new incinerator.

Commissioners voted to solicit bids for repair work in the existing incinerator.