Haynes seeks to clarify bid

Published 8:34 pm Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A day after the Troy City Council endorsed its competitor for the ambulance service contract, a Haynes official said he is trying to clear up confusion regarding his company’s bid.

“I know they misread part of it, and I’ve been spending most of the day trying to get that cleared up so they can have a clear understanding,” said Kirk Barrett, chief operating officer. “The main thing at hand is that they requested three years of financial data, and the fire chief, as he indicated in the meeting, said we only provided one year of financial data, where Care provided three.”

The financial portion of the ambulance bid is not public record, but Barrett said Haynes did provide that information in its bid.

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“I think he misread it because one column is this year, the other column is for the previous year, and we added in an additional page for the third year,” Barrett said.

But, Troy City Clerk Alton Starling disagreed.

“In this case, we asked for three years of reports, and we only received one year of reports in the information I received,” Starling said.

Haynes is seeking to win back the county’s ambulance service contract, which is currently held by Care Ambulance. The Troy council, Brundidge City Council and Pike County Commission all have a vote in the awarding of the contract, which is scheduled to take place on Friday. The Troy council on Tuesday became the first of the three entites to publicly state its preference, indicating it wants to award the bid to Care.

No city official said the alleged lack of financial history was the reason they chose Care to be the service provider.

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said he relied on synopsis and opinions of local emergency officials for his recommendation. In the council work session Tuesday, Troy Fire Chief Thomas Outlaw, E911 Director Tina Jones and Troy Police Chief Anthony Everage gave several reasons to back their support for recommending Care Ambulance. Among them were the number of trucks offered in service by Care and a $500,000 performance bond offered by the company, should it not meet what it has promised to do in the contract.

The city of Brundidge hasn’t officially endorsed a provider, but Mayor Jimmy Ramage was given authority by the city council to make the necessary decision.

Ramage said since Troy voted for Care, he will likely do the same.

The Pike County Commission will vote on Friday, and County Administrator Harry Sanders said he isn’t sure which way commissioners will lean.

“Our commission hasn’t voted yet, so I can’t tell how they will vote,” Sanders said.

Sanders did say Haynes’ bid did include some financial information from more than one year, but it wasn’t the three years of financial history they requested. “I know they’re wanting to send some additional information, but that’s not part of the bid,”

Sanders said he isn’t sure whether the lack of information makes the bid invalid or not, but he did say he doesn’t think it’s the reason Troy cast its vote for Care.