An ongoing debate over which company will run Macon’s public pools threatens to keep them from opening on time.
City Council failed Tuesday to even vote on awarding the contract.
Two weeks ago, City Council’s Community Resources and Development Committee voted against hiring the lowest bidder, USA Pools of Georgia. That company drew fire in 2003 for not properly maintaining the city’s pools.
For the past six years, the pools have been maintained by AP Pools, a local company that owner Alex Pietrzak said was formed to bid on the city’s pools contract.
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Pietrzak, a swimming coach, said he has no other contracts. His company’s bid was the highest of four, coming in $23,700 higher than USA Pools and $21,500 higher than the second-highest bidder, Aquatic Management.
But some council members want to keep the local company instead of basing their decision solely on money, citing Pietrzak’s good record, which includes increasing revenue at the pools from $6,800 in 2004 to $21,800 in 2009.
In a Monday committee meeting, some of those council members removed the pools contract from Tuesday’s City Council agenda. That measure would have awarded the city’s pools contract to Aquatic Management, the second-lowest bidder.
Councilman Tom Ellington tried to have the measure put back on the agenda Tuesday for a vote by the full council but was thwarted in a 7-5 vote with council members Alveno Ross, James Timley, Elaine Lucas, Lonnie Miley and Rick Hutto voting against it. It takes at least eight votes on the 15-member City Council for an item to pass. Council members Nancy White, Charles Jones and Ed DeFore were absent.
Without a special meeting of the council, Parks and Recreation Director Dale “Doc" Dougherty said the pools likely won’t open on time. The pools usually open Memorial Day weekend.
To contact writer Chris Horne, call 744-4494.