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Health care for inmates to cost county $3.2 million

Inmates at the Harford County Detention Center will have access to increased health care services, mainly aimed at those suffering from mental illness or drug addiction.

The Harford County Board of Estimates approved a contract Thursday morning not to exceed $3,241,834 to Conmed Healthcare Management Inc., of La Plata.

Harford has held the detention center's contract for health services with Conmed for several years, and this is the last remaining extension year for this particular contract.

Capt. Tanya M. Jackson, administrative services division commander, told the board that the detention center has been "seeing more and more inmates suffering from mental health and substance abuse [issues]."

The number of services will be increased, Jackson said, because there will be 24-7 care for inmates in need of constant supervision.

Director of Procurement Debbie Henderson added there will also be a new unit with an additional 48 beds for inmates.

Conmed's hourly rate only went up 3 percent over last year, she continued, and the rest of the contract increase "is increased services."

Water and sewer central office building

The board rejected a contract for up to $5.3 million to Forrester Construction Co., of Rockville, to design and construct a new building for the division of water and sewer.

The three-story, 25,500 square-foot building would serve as the main business and engineering office for the department at the Abingdon Water Treatment Plant.

"The architecture will complement that of the existing Abingdon Water Treatment Plant," read a memo from Deputy Director of Public Works, Water and Sewer Division, Joel Caudill to Henderson.

Jackie Ludwig, also with the division of water and sewer, told the board the building would "incorporate the needs of today as well as the future," and Forrester was familiar with government contracting.

Board member Jay Van Deusen asked what steps had been taken to keep costs down.

The building was originally going to be 30,000 square feet, Ludwig said, but was reduced to 25,000.

As detailed in the memo to Henderson, design elements and equipment used in the construction process "will be based on a high-efficiency, sustainability and lowest life-cycle costs."

Member Warren Hamilton asked if Forrester was required to stick to budgeted costs for each item, or if it was the overall budget they needed to stay within.

Warren Walker, who was on the committee that reviewed the proposals and ultimately chose Forrester, explained that the company was asked to stick to the bottom line and if any money is saved on an item, that money would go into a contingency fund that could be used if another item goes over what was budgeted.

If there was still money leftover once the project was complete within budget and on time, Walker went on, that money would be split equally between the firm and the county.

Henderson added that the estimated project completion date was May 2014 and if the project wasn't done by that date then Forrester wouldn't get its portion of the shared savings.

Hamilton then asked if the company could ask for more money if there was a change in condition or scope at the site that wasn't budgeted.

If there is a change, Ludwig said, they can ask for more money. There should be enough in the owner's contingency fund, she continued, that if something were to happen, they shouldn't have to ask for more money.

The contract was not voted through as Van Deusen voted against it and Hamilton and Harford County Council President Billy Boniface both abstained. Cooper, Treasurer Kathryn Hewitt and Henderson all voted in favor of the contract.

Boniface explained in an e-mail after the meeting that he abstained from voting "because there currently is a request of an additional $350,000 in funding for this project in the [county] budget and I felt it was inappropriate for me to weigh in on something the council has not approved yet."

Equipment for detention center

New cameras, DVRs, monitors and intercoms will be purchased for the Harford County Detention Center for a total of $63,853.34 from Government Equipment Corporation, of Gaithersburg.

The equipment will be used in the medical housing areas in the detention center and will replace nine outdated DVRs in the main control room and commander's office.

The equipment will allow security and nursing staff to remotely monitor the inmates in the housing section, Cole Nelson, with the detention center, said.

Computer equipment for sheriff's office

New mobile data computers for Harford County Sheriff's Office patrol cars will replace 150 units that are outdated and can't be repaired, Capt. Dan Galbraith said.

The 150 systems, which include Panasonic Tuff Book mobile data computers, vehicle mount systems and a service protection plan, will be purchased for $875,029.50 from PC Mall Gov Inc., of Manassas, Va.

In addition to the computers, 150 modems will be purchased for $102,600 from Brekford Corps, Pelican Mobile, of Hanover.

Other contracts approved by the Harford County Board of Estimates Thursday include:

One six-wheel regenerative air 8 cubic-yard street sweeper will be purchased from Maryland Industrial Trucks Inc., of Linthicum, for $189,952.

Reuter & Hanney Inc., of Belcamp, will provide preventive maintenance and repairs for electrical equipment at various water and sewer locations around the county. The contract for $121,010 is for one year with two additional one-year options.

A contract not to exceed $326,550 was awarded to Vulcan Materials Company, of Havre de Grace, for crushed aggregates used by the highways maintenance, water and sewer and parks and recreation departments, as well as the Harford Waste Disposal Center.

Poly Patch material to fix manholes, water valves, potholes and bridge approaches throughout the county will be purchased from Stewart and Tate Inc., of York, Pa., for a not-to-exceed amount of $150,000 per year for one year with an additional one-year option.

A project for sub-surface explorations for various projects throughout the county was awarded to Specialized Engineering, of Frederick, for a contract not to exceed $128,970 per year, with two additional one-year options.

Motorola will provide 94 software flash drives for $75,200. The flash drives will be used for the Motorola radios, which will be installed in all vehicles for the division of water and sewer.

The Bel Air Downtown Alliance had two contracts approved for two events — its BBQ Bash on Aug. 9-11 and its weekly First Fridays events. The contracts were not for any amount, but because the events will be held on county-owned property.

Similarly, Dark Horse Saloon was also awarded a contract, but for $500, to use the county-owned parking lot at 121 S. Main St. for its Maryland racing event June 9.

Space Petroleum & Chemical Co. Inc. will supply and deliver heating oil to various county buildings for a contract not to exceed $170,000 for one year, with four additional one-year renewal options.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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