Improvements Approved For Three County Parks

SNOW HILL – Several Worcester County parks will see some improvements in the new year.

County officials have agreed to purchase new lighting for John Walter Smith Park and new fencing for that park as well as Northern Worcester Athletic Complex and Showell Park. The Worcester County Commissioners approved plans to move forward with both at a meeting last week.

Tom Perlozzo, director of recreation and parks, presented the commissioners with three bids for fencing at Northern Worcester Athletic Complex, John Walter Smith Park and Showell Park. He recommended the commissioners award the work to low bidder Long Fence at a price of $138,120.

“Please keep in mind 90% of the funding is from Program Open Space reimbursed to the county,” Perlozzo said.

Following the commissioners’ approval of the fencing, Perlozzo asked them to give his department permission to waive bidding requirements and buy lighting for John Walter Smith Park through a cooperative purchasing agreement.

The county wants to install a new LED light system consisting of four 70-foot poles with 28 fixtures rated for 125 mph winds. Perlozzo said that his research had found that the county could get the best price on lighting by going through a cooperative purchasing agreement. A quote from MUSCO came in at $232,000 while a quote from Qualite — the option available through cooperative purchasing — was $160,710 as long as the county ordered by Jan. 15. The county has $200,000 in Program Open Space funds budgeted for the project.

“Although MUSCO seems to be the staple in the industry, I cannot justify the price difference based on our anticipated usage,” Perlozzo wrote in a report to the commissioners. “As you know, cooperative purchasing requires venders provide their best pricing which are bid for state, county and local levels of purchasing.”

He said the Qualite system was bid through The Interlocal Purchasing Systems (TIPS) in Texas. He asked the commissioners to waive local bidding requirements and piggyback on the cooperative purchasing agreement through TIPS.

The commissioners approved the request unanimously.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.