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Bibb committee backs shelter contract | News

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Bibb committee backs shelter contract
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A Bibb County committee wants to approve a contractor for a new animal shelter, even though their winning bid was more than a half million dollars over budget.

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The county shelter is scheduled to be built on 10 acres on Fulton Mill Road in west Bibb County.

This morning, the county's public safety committee voted unanimously to go forward with the contract for International City Builders of Warner Robins.

Their winning low bid back in December was $2.6 million dollars.

This morning, county commissioners were told there was $2.2 million in SPLOST money available.

Today, Mayor Robert Reichert urged the committee to "bite the bullet" and honor their commitment to the contractor.

He said county officials will have to "hope and pray" that other SPLOST-funded projects come in under budget, to make up the difference.

Assistant county manager Charles Coney says they're trying to cut costs by finding cheaper options for items like a crematory and animal holding equipment, instead of going through the contractor.

"Rather than paying the up-charge from a construction company for a washer and dryer, we would try to buy that ourselves, leveraging our purchasing power," Coney said.

Though financially, it's more than they bargained for, commissioners say a new state-of-the-art animal welfare center is an important community project.

"I think it's going to be one of the things that's really remembered from this SPLOST project when you see the quality of the facility," Commissioner Gary Bechtel said.

Commissioners say the 10-acre shelter will include a dog park, higher capacity and more resources.

"It has the capacity to be sterilized, to prevent disease, and to be a source, a place for people to come and adopt," Coney said.

The full commission is scheduled to vote on the contract next Tuesday.


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