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Trade corridor marketing, jail expansion rebid on DeSoto supervisors' agenda [The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn. :: ]
[March 02, 2014]

Trade corridor marketing, jail expansion rebid on DeSoto supervisors' agenda [The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tenn. :: ]

(Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 02--With a long-awaited blueprint to guide development completed last year for the planned Interstate 69/269 International Trade Corridor, the DeSoto Board of Supervisors on Monday will hear marketing proposals.

Jim Flanagan, president and chief executive of the DeSoto Economic Development Council, and James Curcio, executive director of Batesville-based North Delta Planning and Development District, will address options along the Canada-Mexico corridor that's intended to bisect the county.

Supervisor Mark Gardner of Southaven, a Realtor who participated in the three-year process to develop the corridor study, views the roadway area as a "blank canvas" for business, industrial, residential and quality-of-life opportunities.

The meeting's consent agenda includes a lease agreement with the city of Olive Branch for the Pleasant Hill North Fire Station and an interlocal agreement allowing the Marshall County sheriff to house inmates at the DeSoto County Jail.

Grants administrator Melissa Zizmann said she'll request acceptance of $19,500 in allocated funds from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality for the county's Environmental Services Department, and request authorization to apply for $46,000 in MDEQ funds for the county's Household Hazardous Waste Day cleanup.

"Last year was our biggest hazardous waste event ever; we had more than 500 carloads for disposal or recycling," said Environmental Services manager Ray Laughter. "Without that grant, we couldn't do this event every year." Also, comptroller Tom Arnold is to request official acceptance of a donation for repair of the clock in the prominent tower on the courthouse grounds in Hernando.

"We received $1,000 from a business, Starlanding Rubbish Pit," he said.

In other matters Monday, the supervisors will reconsider their bid award Feb. 3 to Flintco Construction for expansion of the new County Jail south of Hernando. Due to an error in the publication of the bid, the project must be rebid, said County Administrator Vanessa Lynchard. That means two firms that submitted initial bids lower than Flintco's can take another shot at the job.

"There have been no contracts signed on the project with Flintco," she said. Lynchard added that the bid process for work on the Sheriff's Department Administrative Building will be postponed until the jail bid has been awarded.

Tulsa, Okla.-based Flintco built the jail's $14 million, 270-bed first phase that opened in fall 2012, and the firm was selected as the primary contractor for the jail's 264-bed second phase with an offer of $8,469,000 after two lower bidders backed out.

Project consultant Michael Childress, principal with the Evans Taylor Foster Childress architectural firm in Memphis, at the time called the process "a really good bid" and "a really strange bid." He said Flintco's bid still was within the county's $8.5 million estimate.

Childress said six bids were received on Jan. 16 and publicly read aloud. But within days, the low bidder at $7,939,700, Murphy and Sons, and the second low bidder, Zellner Construction Services with $8,287,000, withdrew "due to errors," he said. The supervisors' legal counsel, Tony Nowak, told the board the mistakes were in computations by the firms.

County officials are looking for another active round -- error-free on all sides -- of competitive bids: "We certainly hope that'll be the case," said Lynchard.

The supervisors meet at 9 a.m. in the board's third-floor hearing room at the County Administration Building, 365 Losher Street in downtown Hernando.

___ (c)2014 The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) Visit The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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