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Bertie rejects food bids

WINDSOR – No, that’s exactly what the Bertie County Commissioners said Monday morning to the bids for the Council on Aging food service contract bids.

After several minutes of discussion concerning two bids for the contract, the county fathers rejected all bids and decided to start the process from scratch.

Two companies – one from Windsor and the other from Plymouth – submitted bids to provide food preparation and delivery to be funded under the Home and Community Care Block Grant for both congregate and home-delivered meals.

The current provider, Trump’s Restaurant in Plymouth, provided a bid of $4.85 per meal. According to information in their bid, Trump’s has provided service to the Washington County Detention Center, Washington County Senior Center, Washington County Aging Program and Chowan County Detention Center.

The other bid, which is for $4.75 per meal, was placed by Granville Caters in Windsor. That business provides meals for the Home and Community Care Block Grant in Hertford County, according to the bid package they presented.

The item ended up before the commissioners because of discrepancies in the bid package. Bertie County Attorney Lloyd Smith said issues had been raised because the Granville Caters bid did not provide all of the information requested.

“I’ve researched the bid advertisement and there’s nowhere that says you have to reject a bid because the information is not complete,” Smith told the commissioners.

He told them they could accept one of the bids and then require the information be provided before the contract was signed or could reject the bid outright. He further stated that upon research neither of the bids had the completed package that was requested.

Smith said the board did have the authority under their bid advertisement to reject both bids and send it back to start again.

“You can require that each bid package be complete and accurate with all information requested or it will be rejected,” Smith said.

Commissioner Rick Harrell then made the motion to reject both bids and have the bidding process begin again. Commissioner Charles Smith offered a second and the motion passed by a unanimous vote.

The new invitation to bidders – which is open to all those interested and not just the two who previously bid – went out Wednesday with the county requesting sealed bids for the food service contract.

Those seeking to bid can obtain specifications from the Bertie County Manager’s Office at 794-5300.

Complete and sealed bid proposals must be received in that office no later than 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 29. The bids will be open at 10 a.m. on the same day.

As always, the Bertie County Commissioners reserve the right to reject any and all bids. A five percent cash deposit or bid bond must accompany each bid proposal.

Bertie County Commission Chairman Norman M. Cherry Sr. asked that the bids be returned to the board by their first meeting in May.