Eutaw City Council accepts bids on water project; disputes claims to pay Sheriff’s Department for setting up voting machines

In its regular meeting on September 27, 2016, the Eutaw City Council approve bids for the proposed $3.1 million water improvement Project from USDA Rural Development.
The Council approved two bids, one from Caldwell Tank Inc. of Louisville, Kentucky for $1,092,000 for replacement of the water tank behind City Hall; and a second bid from Apel Machine and Supply Company of Hanceville, Alabama for $1,557,344.92 for the replacement and extension of pipes, digital meters, fire hydrants and other improvements.
Mayor Edwards said “The city is still negotiating the interim financing for this project and hope to have this completed soon so we can sign contracts with these low bidders so the water project can get started.” The Mayor also reported that work would begin within thirty days on the Prairie Avenue resurfacing project. S. T. Bunn was selected as the contractor for this project.
The City Council was presented with an invoice for $6,000 for “delivery, set-up, technicians fee and pickup of electronic voting machines,” for the October 4th City runoff elections. The invoice specified that payment be made, prior to delivery of any equipment, to Jeremy Rancher or Charles Davis, who are on the staff of the Sheriff’s Department.
Mayor Edwards explained that the same deputies had submitted a bill for $6,000 for the August 23 City elections and that she had paid $5,000 of that bill. The total request from deputies Rancher and Davis was $12,000 to provide the voting machines.
Both the Mayor and Councilwoman Shelia Smith protested the high cost of the election arrangements and whether the Sheriff’s Department or individuals working for the Sheriff’s Department could legitimately charge for providing voting machines that belong to the County.
After some discussion, new Probate Judge Judy Spree made the machines available to the City of Eutaw for the election and had members of the City police force transport and set up the machines. The Mayor is still disputing the original $5,000 payment and requesting a refund.
In other business the City Council approved travel for council members and staff to various conferences and training events.

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