The repairs are needed because the acoustics in the courtroom are such that few audience members can hear the proceedings and even attorneys sitting only a few feet from the judge have complained.
The bid, which includes the addition of wireless microphones, a mixer, amplifier and cabling, totals $10,817 from Sound Distributors Inc. from Corpus Christi.
This bid amount is $4,000 less than the other two bids received for the work which did cause some concern.
“I know John (Contreras) had some concerns because one of them was $4,000 less than the other two,” said Commissioner Carlos Salazar Jr. during Monday’s meeting.
Contreras is the maintenance supervisor for the county.
Salazar said that he requested the county auditor review the bids to ensure that the difference in price wasn’t going to be a problem.
“He did mention that the larger one was not using the equipment that was already in place,” said County Auditor Blandina Costley.
Salazar, with agreeing nods from other commissioners, said that there would be no reason to not use the equipment already installed in the courtrooms — it’s paid for.
“If that is the case, I would be a fool not to go with those people,” Salazar said.
Commissioner Eloy Rodriguez questioned whether someone had checked the references of the company to ensure that they do not run into the same problems as last time.
Salazar said that they had and reminded that the prior company hired to do the work came with a good recommendation.
“The last one was someone the Texas Historical Commission recommended,” Salazar said.
Rodriguez was referring to an earlier meeting when they were notified by Ken Bridges, with Ken Bridges Audio Video, that he would be unable to complete this work as discussed.
Sixteen months ago, commissioners agreed to borrow $60,000 on a three-year note to finance the needed improvements to the courtrooms’ acoustics.
On Monday, commissioners also:
• Approved the Texas Association of Counties Silver Choice Insurance Program for retirees. The insurance for retirees will not cost the county any additional money.
• Appointed Wally Saldana as the veterans service officer for Bee County. Saldana was hired July 20 into the Bee County Community Affairs Department but not with this new title.
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.