Polk bid com­mit­tee looks at costs for IT, Pub­lic Works equip­ment

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By Sean Wil­liams [email protected]­hoo.com

Polk County is ready to take some items off their wish list, and af­ter re­ceiv­ing var­i­ous bids on ev­ery­thing from net­work switches to an as­phalt roller, the bid com­mit­tee has a solid idea of how much they might be spend­ing on these projects.

No se­lec­tions were made dur­ing the July 18 meet­ing, but the group plans to com­pare the var­i­ous of­fers and squeeze out the best deal be­fore vot­ing in Au­gust.

While pric­ing is im­por­tant, the qual­ity of the prod­ucts and work­ers can take prece­dent. The switches cur­rently in use were a con­trib­u­tor to a past net­work shut­down of much of the county, so while the Ver­tex bid of $15,747 is the low­est, the ProLogic ITS bid of $27,260 could be taken if the com­pany of­fers more value.

The switches serve as a net­work­ing de­vice that con­nects mul­ti­ple com­put­ers to­gether into one lo­cal net­work, but some of the switches in use were man­u­fac­tured as early as 2005.

“If one of those (the core switches) fails, it’s like hav­ing a car­diac ar­rest,” Polk County’s IT direc­tor David Smith pre­vi­ously said of the switches. “My pro­posal is to get rid of these (old) ones, buy new switches, and con­nect ev­ery­one di­rect route to us (IT De­part­ment.)”

Other net­work switch bids in­clude a $19,564 of­fer from SHI In­ter­na­tional and a $23,011 bid from Howard Tech Solutions.

“We’ll com­pare them, go through them, and bring them to the board,” county man­ager Matt Den­ton said.

For the as­phalt roller, the group opened four sealed bids rang­ing from $29,176 to $46,194, but the large deficit be­tween com­pa­nies raised ques­tions about the ser­vices pro­vided.

The com­mit­tee seemed heav­ily in­ter­ested in rent­ing the ma­chine, how­ever. Their pre­vi­ous es­ti­mates sug­gested it would take over 13 years un­til the ma­chine fi­nally paid for it­self, but leas­ing the ma­chine dur­ing paving sea­son would cost $4,425 over sev­eral months.

The com­pany that owns the ve­hi­cle would also be re­spon­si­ble for main­te­nance and up­keep.

Only time will tell which route the group de­cides to use, but the county com­mis­sion is sched­uled to vote on a bid dur­ing their Aug. 7 meet­ing at the Polk County Po­lice De­part­ment begin­ning at 7 p.m.

A se­nior bus bid is also on the agenda, too, and the ve­hi­cle could cost the county any­where from the At­lanta Bus Cen­ter’s $61,094 to At­lantic Bus Sales’ $72,461.

/ Sean Wil­liams

County IT Direc­tor David Smith, cen­ter, talks about the need for new net­work­ing equip­ment dur­ing the July bid com­mit­tee meet­ing.

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