By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer
When the Muskogee County commissioners of each district opened bids for the jail food service contract Monday, they only found two that were legal bids.
The company that has provided food at the Muskogee County/City Detention Facility since 2009 failed to turn in a legal bid, said Gene Wallace, District 1 commissioner.
“It has to have an anti-collusion clause, and it has to be notarized and it did not have either,” Wallace said. “The sheriff’s department wanted a week to review the other bids and make a recommendation for us for next week.”
Jail Supervisor Joe Hughart said it was a surprise that CBM Managed Services won’t be able to continue on, but another company’s bid came in considerably lower and could save the county several thousand dollars a month.
The jail pays an average of about $346,000 a year for inmate meals.
Meal prices are based on the number of inmates currently housed at the jail, Hughart said.
Currently, CBM charges the jail $1.055 per meal per inmate for 276 to 300 inmates. ADL Management Inc., bid $.93 per meal per inmate for 270 to 285 inmates.
The third bidder came in higher than both.
“If we go with that lowest bidder, we’d save about $2,700 a month,” Hughart said. “Whoever wins the bid will take over effective Dec. 3.”
Hughart said he’ll be at the county commissioner’s regular meeting Monday to make a recommendation based, not only on price, but on how well the company can meet the needs of the jail. Wallace said the commissioners will then vote on which bid to accept.
Even if the lowest bid is accepted, Hughart said the quality and quantity of meals at the facility won’t change.
“The bids are based upon a certain calorie per portion, and the meals have to be certified by a nutritionist,” he said.
Other bids the county commissioners opened Monday were for box culverts for bridge repairs and the printing of ballots for county elections.
Wallace said the box culverts are something they do every year, and the ballot printing was awarded to Royal Printing of Muskogee.
Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.