Removing roadside debris left in the wake of last October’s Hurricane Zeta may begin again as soon as Thursday. The George County Board of Supervisors opened bids from eight contractors during the regular meeting on Monday morning. Nine contractors had submitted bids, but one bid package envelope did not display the required state Certificate of Responsibility number as required in the request for bids. That bid package was not opened. Bids ranged from a low of $2,491,245 to a high of nearly $6 million. County engineer Bob Diamond took the bids for review and the supervisors reconvened later in the day to make their se- lection. AAA General Contrac- tors of Alexandria City, Alabama was the successful bidder with the low bid of $2,491,245. This is the same company that won a bid in April to be “on call” to clean up after a future storm. Given the legal problems with the December bidding, the supervisors decided in April to make an agreement, annually, with a disaster services firm to be “on standby” rather than seek out such a company at the time of the incident. The Court would not allow that “on call” bid be considered for this contract. A requirement of the new bid request was the Next round of storm debris cleanup to begin this week winning bidder mobilize equipment and begin picking up debris within three days. Hurricane Zeta smashed its way through the county on October 28, leaving nearly half a million cubic yards of uprooted trees and tree limbs piled up on county roadways. Cleanup of this material began in early January, nearly as soon as then President Donald Trump declared the storm a federal disaster. In preparation for the cleanup, the supervisors had put together a request for bids that drew more than 20 contenders for the cleanup effort. The lowest, and what was thought at the time to be the best bid, was Custom Tree Care LLC of Kansas City, Kansas. CTC submitted a bid of $1,686,613. The second lowest bidder, Holliday Construction, Poplarville filed suit on the basis CTC was not a Mississippi licensed contractor. The Holliday bid was $2,352,050. With about half of the debris already cleaned up, the Court ordered all pickup work to stop until the case was settled. Ultimately the Court ruled the County had to re-advertise for contractors with state licenses to do the work. Those were the bids opened on Monday. Holliday was one of the competing firms in this second round of bidding. This time the Holliday bid was $5,956,000, more than double its previous bid.

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