Supervisors debate rising costs of summer projects


Concern that gasoline prices will jump again before summer had the Jackson County supervisors debating how to handle annual contracts for materials and services that will be affected, like asphalt, concrete and pest control.

They decided Monday to extend some contracts in hopes the county will save money by locking in this year’s prices for another year. They will rebid others, fishing for a better price for the coming year.

Supervisor John McKay encouraged his fellow supervisors to extend the asphalt contract for another year at the same price because he said some quick research Monday morning indicated the price of asphalt is already going up.

“Gas has jumped up 15 cents in just the last two days,” McKay said, and that affects asphalt costs.

“It’s a gamble,” he said. “But I think we should lock it in.”

Not all the board members agreed. They voted 3-2 to extend the asphalt contract price, with the two newest supervisors voting against the motion. Mike Mangum said he needed more information on the pros and cons.

Though he voted to lock in asphalt, Supervisor Manly Barton, in his third term as supervisor, said it’s not always as easy as it seems to determine what will save the county money.

“In the past, we hedged our bets and were worse off,” Barton said.

The county decided to extend the contracts and current price it’s paying for auctions, bridge components, grout, food, guard rails, liquid asphalt, paper, pest control, recycled concrete, sanitation services and white goods.

It will rebid concrete, concrete culverts and pilings, grader blades, limestone, milk, road striping, sand, signs, uniforms, vending machine services and waste tire and electronic waste disposal.


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