County looks for ‘best value’ in broadband bidsThe Lake County Board authorized its chairman to sign and the county to submit the Rural Utilities Service Broadband Initiatives Program loan and grant application for the proposed broadband plan for Lake County its meeting on Tuesday.
By: Matt Suoja, Lake County News Chronicle
The Lake County Board authorized its chairman to sign and the county to submit the Rural Utilities Service Broadband Initiatives Program loan and grant application for the proposed broadband plan for Lake County its meeting on Tuesday.
The board is currently seeking about $22 million for a loan and $11 million in grants, plus $4 million from county revenue bonds for the Broadband Initiatives Program.
The project would be paid for by the operational revenue it generates, according to a fact sheet on Lake County’s Web site.
“I don’t think they will get a lot of applications,” said Gary Fields of National Public Broadband, a group working with the county on the project.
The board also discussed how the bidding process would proceed for the possible project.
They looked at both the “lowest bid” process and the “best value” form.
According to a memo from Tim Nulty and Fields of NPB, they “are more concerned that a low bidder might attempt to cut corners in inappropriate places, or worse, might not be very qualified to build the network and consequently, incur much greater costs to Lake County.”
They said that some of the benefits to the “best value” process are: it assures the county would have a qualified company willing to meet a maximum fixed price, plus it saves time in the bidding process. The procedure also adds the ability to make the project “shovel ready.”
The board voted to go with the “best value” process.
A few county commissioners expressed concern about rushing the process.
In other county board news:
- The board discussed th construction of a cell phone tower in Finland. There is currently an issue with the title of the land. There were plans to build the tower in the fall.