By Bill Short
Board members took the action Monday night during their regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Cody Childress and seconded by Mark Coulter.
Memphis Audio Inc. will be awarded the contract for $337,755.52. It was one of two companies that responded to the administration’s Request for Proposals.
Conference Technologies Inc. in Memphis submitted a proposal for $326,653.88.
During discussion shortly before the vote, board member Barbara Halliburton said she was “under the impression” at a recent Work Session that the board would have an opportunity to hear “a little bit more” from the two companies about the “significant differences” in the “categories” of their quotes.
Oscar Brown, supervisor of Operations and Transportation for Millington Municipal Schools, said the administration interviewed both companies in an effort to “distinguish the differences.”
He noted that Memphis Audio included references from The Orpheum Theater and the FedEx Forum, but CTI had no theater references. He said Memphis Audio also submitted a “good curtain system design.”
Brown cited “other administrative costs” contained in the two proposals. CTI listed $5,185.75 for “shipping and freight,” while Memphis Audio designated $7,000 to pay for a bond if the school system required it.
Because Memphis Audio has “been around for a long time,” Brown said the administration is not concerned about it “running off” without completing the work.
“So, if we don’t ask for a bond,” he noted, “that $7,000 can go back into the theater.”
Brown said those were the major things that “kind of pushed” the administration toward recommending Memphis Audio for the contract.
Because the “equipment cost” listed by Memphis Audio is $34,000 less than CTI proposed, Halliburton asked whether the latter would provide more of it.
Although much of the equipment was the “same type,” Brown said, none that was proposed by either company is “substandard.”
“Memphis Audio kind of knew what we had already,” he noted. “But if we needed or wanted more, they could have that.”
Childress said the administration can use the $7,000 to purchase more equipment from Memphis Audio. But because the company will charge for what it actually provides, Halliburton said that money can be used “somewhere else.”
Childress said the contract should contain a clause stating that the school system will want that money back if it is not used to purchase more equipment.
If necessary, Brown said, the administration can ask the system’s attorneys to include language in the contract that will make sure it gets what it wants.
Board Chairman C. J. Haley said the language should be about the bond, “not necessarily on the back end about equipment.”