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GRANGEVILLE — Idaho County Commissioners have narrowed down their pick from five to two public works contractors competing for the Big Cedar 1 Slide Repair Project. At their March 23 meeting, the commissioners revealed their final decision will involve interviewing two finalists: GeoStabilization and Inland Crane.

Selection of these top two bids required consultation with engineering experts to get the best overall deal. The call for bids described the project as “stabilizing approximately 450 lineal feet of landslide, repairing approximately 500 lineal feet of roadway, subsurface and surface drainage improvements, and associated surface restoration [… with an] estimated project cost for each phase … between $2,500,000 and $5,000,000.”

County Clerk Kathy Ackerman provided Idaho County Free Press with a hard copy chart of the top bids with the scores given each bid by three evaluators. The average score for each bid was then divided into the contractor’s total bid amount to calculate a composite score:

• Clearwater Construction, Inc. dba Clearwater Western (83.5, 70.2, 88.1; 80.6), $6,861,000; $85,124.07

• M.A. DeAtley Construction, Inc. (84.95, 75.6, 89.95; 83.5), $4,473,153.50; $53,570.70

• **GeoStabilization (86.65, 83.25, 92.6; 87.5), $2,424,414.50; $27,707.59

• **Inland Crane (82.3, 74.25, 83.3; 80.0), $2,188,749.80; $27,376.48

• Syblon Reid (85, 80.55, 89.8; 85.1), $5,282,145.00; $62,057.71

(** Idaho County will interview these two proposers in accordance with Section 00100, Article 14.05 to further evaluate prior to award.)

When asked how Idaho County arrives at the above rubric for scoring, Ackerman said: “We consulted John Wasem of J-U-B Engineers in Clarkston [Wash.]. Three evaluators graded each of the original bids.”

The scores of the two finalists were very close, requiring the commissioners to interview them. Ackerman said the two finalists, “will go through an interview process” before the commissioners decide which to award the Big Cedar 1 Slide Repair contract.

Commission Chair Skip Brandt was unable to attend the March 23 meeting due to illness.

Commissioners Duman and Lindsley approved the $20,125 purchase of 12 Tasers for use by Idaho County law enforcement officers. Tasers can be used for subduing dangerous offenders by electronically shocking them. Funds for these devices will come from USFS reimbursements for deputy patrols of campgrounds, according to Monica Walker, Idaho County Sheriff’s Office.

At that same meeting Sheriff Doug Ulmer and Randy Herman of Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation challenged commissioners to consider accepting a subsidy offer from the U.S. Coast Guard.

Herman explained the Coast Guard has been helping other counties with their water safety “education, enforcement, and facilities.” Counties that meet IDPR guidelines and deadlines for application can receive matching funds for up to 50 percent of the cost of their water safety education and enforcement.

“One big factor is that Idaho County has lots of water, [such as] Dworshak Dam,” Herman emphasized, adding that the Coast Guard is willing to help fund life jackets, rescue throw bags, and training for officers who would promote water safety, not merely by enforcement of safety laws, but also by encouraging actions such as loaning life jackets labeled with the county name — loaner jackets that could be dropped off at a nearby safety station, Herman said. Commissioners Duman and Lindsley will consider the Coast Guard’s offer.

In other business, the commissioners heard forest rangers Jeff Shinn and Brandon Knapton describe logging activities and pending timber sales in the county. Connie Jensen-Blyth, supervisor of the Idaho County Weed Management Program, updated the commissioners on challenges facing enforcement of require spraying of noxious weeds:

“There’s a strong push-back [against required spraying of noxious weeds],” she said. “Some people don’t understand: It’s the law.”

At that same commissioner meeting, Alicia Ray, loss control consultant from State Insurance Fund, gave a distance presentation on workplace safety and the state insurance fund. The Zoom-televised distance presentation was cut short due to technical difficulties. Ray agreed to answer questions about specific insurance cases in an upcoming executive session of the commissioners.