, 2022-12-19 05:00:00,
Citing an emergency situation at the county prison, Lebanon County Commissioners approved by a 2-1 vote Thursday a contract with a Georgia firm to provide maintenance services at the facility.
The inability to fill two maintenance position vacancies – including a supervisory position – at the county prison since August led the commissioners to hire Atlanta-based CGl Facility Management LLC at an annual cost of $448,530, or $37,377.50 per month, for calendar year 2023. The one-year contract, which begins Jan. 1, includes an additional one-time, start-up fee of $12,000.
In voting no on the proposal, Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz cited her reservations, including that the company is not based in Pennsylvania, CGI employees will use county-owned tools instead of their own, and that the firm may subcontract work and not perform necessary maintenance and repairs themselves. Litz also added that there is a 10 percent markup rate for materials.
In voting to accept the proposal, Commissioner Michael Kuhn and Chairman Robert Phillips noted that all efforts to hire locally – including advertising the positions and attempting to contract with local maintenance and repair companies – were unsuccessful.
“This is an emergency situation down there that we are trying to address,” said Phillips. “It’s a one-year contract. This is a remedy we’re trying for one year and if we don’t like it and if it’s as horrible as has been suggested, we don’t have to renew it after 2023. We can just test drive it for one year.”
“It’s certainly not my preference to contract somebody to do what we’ve been able to do for many years, and that is hire qualified staff to maintain our prison,” said Kuhn. “But we made best faith efforts to do that, and we are in a very vulnerable position and we leave ourselves open to liability and, really, safety and security issues there. I don’t see that we have much other choice at this point.”
County administrator Jamie Wolgemuth said using county-owned tools is an accountability issue since equipment must be inventoried every time it is used. Additionally, he noted that the company has a track record of success since it has 300 contracts nationwide, including ones with Franklin and Lancaster counties in Pennsylvania.
The cost, he added, is almost a wash since the savings in salaries and benefits for the two eliminated positions, and eventually the third, are nearly as much as…
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