Macon City Council members endorsed a contract Monday to buy the second half of replacement seating for the Macon Coliseum.
The $831,484 deal is with Irwin Seating Co., which also supplied the other half of the new seats earlier this year, Finance Director Megan McMahon said. Irwin was the only bidder, but it agreed to keep the same price as for the first half of the seats, said Mark Butcher, general manager of the Marriott City Center and attached coliseum.
How many companies do telescopic seating? Appropriations Committee Chairman Tom Ellington asked.
Only two in the United States and one in Canada, and all of them were asked for bids, McMahon said.
The coliseum will have fixed seats for 5,352 people and 1,920 seats on folding, or telescoping, bleachers, Butcher said.
The purchase is funded by the special purpose local option sales tax that voters approved in November 2011. The SPLOST includes about $5 million for work on the coliseum and City Auditorium, split over two fiscal years.
The resolution passed committee 5-0, but it must still be ratified by the full council, which meets Sept. 3.
The committee narrowly approved spending $12,000 on overtime for employees of Bowden Golf Course.
Some employees have already racked up 240 hours of unused comp time each -- which rolls over from year to year -- and so legally have to be paid overtime for any further work beyond 40 hours per week, McMahon said.
This will hopefully get us through the end of the year, she said.
Council President James Timley, a frequent Bowden patron, said the problem is that only two full-time clerks in the pro shop have to cover more than 80 hours during which the course is open each week.
In essence, there are more hours in the week than a normal 40-hour work week can do, he said.
That also prevents them from taking off for any of the comp time theyve accrued, Timley said.
This would all be solved if we were just to close one day a week, Bowden Manager Nathan Caffarelli told the committee. The course now takes in about $7,000 per week, and closing one day out of seven would cost some of that revenue, but it would fix the overtime problem, he said.
Councilman Virgil Watkins noted that the city subsidizes the course each year, and this addition would push the current years subsidy above $400,000.
This is not a good trend, he said.
And Councilman Henry Ficklin worried that it would set a precedent for other departments, perhaps requiring extra pay for council clerks.
The ordinance passed 3-2, with Ficklin and Watkins opposed.
To contact writer Jim Gaines, call 744-4489.