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LB Recycling bid under review by attorney

COVINGTON — Commissioners approved Tuesday night a bid by LB Recycling and Waste Services to purchase and collect scrap metal at the recycling centers and landfill, but there are questions about the legality of the bid.

LB Recycling bid 9 cents per pound, with a rate locked in for two years and the option to renew for an additional two years. Oconee Metal Recovery offered the higher price at 9.6 cents per pound, with a locked-in rate for one year. However, LB Recycling also offered to beat any competitor’s price or bid by 2 percent.

Commissioner Nancy Schulz asked County Attorney Tommy Craig if such a bid is legal.

Craig responded that he’d not seen that approach before but he would research the matter.

“I am studying the issue for the Board of Commissioners. I have not yet issued a ruling, but I have serious concerns about that form of bidding,” Craig said Friday.

“We feel like the way that this was done, it invalidates the bid process, and we’re happy that the county attorney is looking into it,” said Paul Bacon, general manager for Oconee Metal Recovery. “At this point, we’re going to let the process go through. We feel like they’re looking into it and handling it the proper way.”

Craig told the board Tuesday it could go ahead and vote, with approval contingent on his findings, or table the matter. Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the bid. Commissioner Levie Maddox recused himself and left the room.

Maddox later told the Citizen he works with sales and marketing for LB Recycling. He said he is not an owner in the business, and declined to give the owner’s name.

Maddox’s brother, Jason, is listed as the owner of the company on the occupational tax records on file with the city of Covington. Jason Maddox declined to comment for this story.

“LB Recycling is one of two local players that can handle those services for Newton County. I do work for one of those two companies,” Levie Maddox said.

Maddox said he won the county account for LB Recycling two years ago, resulting in the county making an additional $31,000 a year.

But, “Whether LB signed that contract today or two years ago, my salary was not affected,” he said.

Maddox said that the account with the county was given to another salesman during his campaign for county commissioner and that he was not involved with the company’s bid.

“I promise you pains were taken to make sure that I absolutely had no conversations with anyone on either side of the fence,” he said.

Comments

dennistay53 1 year, 6 months ago

It get's stranger by the day at the county commission. Why the Heck would they even vote on this before it was investigated? Never have i heard of a bid that says i will bid a percentage above the high bid being accepted. Why would a county attorney say you can go ahead and vote and i will research it later? ANYBODY can see it either should have been tabled or the higher cent per pound of Oconee be accepted. And they wonder why concerned citizens are making the comments they do ?

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HonestAbe 1 year, 6 months ago

Oh Man, I laughed my head off when i read this. Hey Newton Citizen if you will give me a job i promise i work for 2% less money than anyone else -lol-. Mr Ellis i think you need to drop your notion of filming these meetings unless you plan to air them on the comedy channel, sat night live or Leno. Oh Craig assured of making more money since he charges by the hour. By going ahead and voting on this the board risks a law suit coming from either direction. I have seen all kinds of bids in my 60 years but nothing like this. As the world turns these are the days of our board, lol I know this reporter HAD to laugh when she saw this fiasco going on.

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worthcharlotte 1 year, 6 months ago

If I understand the story...the bid is one number, unless somebody else wins, when my bid goes to the bigger number, but only if I want to? Great stuff!

Don't you love small town politics? Not sure whether the bigger issues are the elected official cloaking ownership, that somebody is actually silly enough to make a bid that could be infinite (what if the other guy had bid $20 a pound instead of $.08), the fact that the city disposes of so much stuff (why did we buy it?) or that the city attorney doesn't know bid rules (DOAS Vendor policy 5.12 if this is considered construction or Municode if it isn't). Wonder if whatever we save on this deal is going to be worth the lawsuit?

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OnToday 1 year, 6 months ago

Between these clowns and the NCSS I'm starting to wonder if everyone is corrupt, stupid or both.

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Neuhierl 1 year, 6 months ago

I, too, don't understand why the vote wasn't tabled instead of voted upon. 2% better than the other companies is not an "amount' and under normal circumstances would be thrown out as an inappropriate response. Otherwise all future bid responses should just say "better than the other companies" and how could a decision be made? Oconee won this bid and should be given the award. The time-length of the pricing should have been well defined in the bid, another sign that the process is broken. Was this a Request for Proposal or a Request for Quote? If it wasn't a RFQ, why not? The Newton County bid processes need guidelines on when to use RFP and RFQ in such a way as to not have muddy waters like this bid. I also don't understand why Maddox wouldn't give the name of the owner of the business, what was that about? Certainly he knew this information is readily available. Or, is there something hidden in this ownership, some sort of informal internal agreement of ownership? Why did Jason decline to comment? Very sad.

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Frustrated 1 year, 6 months ago

well it goes like this.. Maddox had already talked to his buddies (Douglas and Henderson) and got their vote. One of them probalby worked a deal with another Commissioner and got their vote. It was a done deal before it ever came up just like some of the votes in the past. Its the "ole buddy" system which is alive and thriving at the Newton County BOC.

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Frustrated 1 year, 6 months ago

This BOC is turning out to be a bigger joke than the last one. Approving contracts with a person that doesnt hold a business license then say you are going to change the policy, approving a questionable contract and THEN investigating it. Whats next? In know there are some new members and they need to learn a few things but come on...this is getting out of hand. Douglas seems to be the point man in all this mess and he is going to be leaving soon. That how you want to run the gov't? Well this mess IS broken so lets get it fixed and start with Douglas resigning.

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John 1 year, 6 months ago

Any time an attorney says he has to research a matter that is the same as the fare meter continuing to run even if the cab driver takes you the long way around the block or got lost.

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Neuhierl 1 year, 6 months ago

From Newton Citizen Facebook: The BOC has called a special meeting for 7 p.m. Tuesday night related to the lawncare contract. It will be held at the Historic Courthouse on the Square.

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Frustrated 1 year, 6 months ago

Was this a unanamous vote? If so, why did Shulz vote for it if she questioned it right off the bat? Seems like she already had concerns if she asked the county attorney if it was legal.

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Bemused 1 year, 6 months ago

Does anyone else seem to think that until they get rid of the county attorney, nothing will work right in the county?

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dennistay53 1 year, 6 months ago

I have thought he needs to go for 20 years. Just not enough in Newton County that cares

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