The Phelps County Commission has awarded bids for a county audit and for LP (liquefied petroleum) gas but decided to wait on awarding a bid for replacing concrete steps at the county courthouse.

Commissioners opened bids for the audit, LP gas and concrete steps at their Thursday morning meeting.

Out of three bids received for the county audit to comply with the Federal Single Audit Act for the years of 2011 and 2012, the commission unanimously awarded the bid to Daniel Jones and Associates, of Arnold, on a bid of $14,000.

Commissioners and County Clerk Carol Bennett said this firm is familiar with the county and has done audits of the county in the past. Daniel Jones had the lowest bid, which also was under the county’s budgeted amount of $15,000.

The other two bidders were Davis Lynn Moots PC, of Springfield, which submitted a bid of $18,500; and Casey-Beard-Boehmer PC, of Columbia, which submitted a bid of $17,900.

On the LP gas bids, there also were three bids received and commissioners awarded a one-year contract to Peterson Oil Co., of Sullivan, which submitted the lowest bid of $1.13 per gallon.

Vendors were asked to submit bids for a six-month rate and a one-year rate. Peterson’s bid of $1.13 was for both six months and one year.

The other bidders were FerrellGas, which submitted a bid of $1.38 for both rates, and Titan Propane, which submitted a bid of $1.445 for one year and $1.395 for six months. The county was paying a rate of $1.45 per gallon under its current supplier, AmeriGas.

The commission also opened the only bid received by CSE Enterprises Inc. for concrete repair and replacement work on the outdoor stairs at the main entrance to the courthouse. CSE submitted a bid of $12,000 for the work, which is higher than the first time the company bid on the project last year.

In early November 2012, the commission sought bids for the project and CSE was the only contractor to submit a bid then. At that time, CSE’s bid was for $9,990.

Mark Brookshire, county facilities manager, said he wanted to wait until after winter for the concrete work. Because the bids sought in the fall had a timeframe that had passed, the county decided to seek bids again.

This time, there was some discussion about whether CSE needed to include a performance bond and other information requested in the bid specifications with the bid itself. Brookshire said he would contact CSE for some clarification before recommending a bid be awarded.

In other business

Also at Thursday’s meeting, county officeholders met for their monthly meeting with commissioners and at District Two Commissioner Gary Hicks’ request, they recited the pledge of allegiance.

Earlier this month, Hicks questioned why the commission doesn’t recite the pledge at the beginning of its meetings. District One Commissioner Larry Stratman recommended reciting the pledge once a month at the meeting with county officeholders.

County Recorder Robin Kordes reported that a silent auction of county surplus items held April 17-18 at the courthouse raised $1,248. A total of 70 people bid on items and 33 of those were not county employees. Kordes was thanked for her work on the auction and she told attendees that she plans to hold surplus auctions more often, possibly every two years.

In other business, commissioners received a letter from Don Chaney, vice president of the Public Water Supply District No. 2 of Phelps County board, that stated the board was disappointed that it wasn’t contacted first about Hicks’ decision to contact the Missouri Department of Natural Resources about a culvert that had rotted out because of a “corrosive effluent” near a treatment plant on Twitty Drive. A sampling by the DNR revealed no issues with the site and that “our levels were within code,” Chaney wrote. Hicks said he had no intentions to bypass the water district.

In addition, Phelps County Emergency Management Director Sandy North said she needed an upgrade to her radio because the county sheriff’s department and other local law enforcement agencies are switching to a digital system.

North said she believes an emergency management performance grant will pay for half of her upgrade. The commission recommended North talk to the sheriff’s department to consider funding the other half. The total upgrade cost for her radio is about $725.

Public Administrator Kathy Oliver noted that she was among 111 public administrators who attended the annual state convention of the Missouri Association of Public Administrators held in St. Joseph April 15-18. Oliver has been certified for having completed 20 hours of training as per required in Senate Bill 601.