HAHIRA -- Hahira City Council accepted the bid for the old Smith Hospital property from a group of buyers that includes the mayor at Thursday's special meeting.

The acceptance of the bid was decided by a 2-1 vote with Mayor Myron Crowe recusing himself.

Crowe, Bert Chancy, Hugh Chancy and Larry Dean made a bid of zero dollars to buy the new part of the property on the back to develop a type of health care facility and swap work for the demolition of the old part in the front, Councilman M.C. Nelson said.

The other five bids were for demolition only.

"How come five people got it wrong and only the mayor got it right?" said Councilman Temple Ogundo after the meeting. Ogundo voted against the acceptance of the bid but is in favor of the facility.

When the city advertised for bids on the property, the advertisement was for demolition.

"Nowhere in the advertisement was it stated that they had to use it for an assisted living facility," Ogundo said.

A resolution was included in the bid packet that stated the city was looking for bidders to establish an assisted living facility on the property, Ogundo said, adding that he doubts most bidders read the resolution.

At the special meeting, finance director Ramona Robison said all bidders were aware of the resolution.

Tristar of America Inc., in Norcross, made a bid of $96,000 to do the demolition.

Tristar construction manager Joe Silver said he wasn't aware of the city's request for an assisted living facility.

Best-Tec Demolition, in Jacksonville, made a bid of $88,694.

Best-Tec Vice President Jim Creekmore said he bid the job on the understanding that the city wanted to sell the parcel in the back of the property

to pay for the demolition in the front.

Other bidders included:

-- Osborne Construction Co., Inc., of Valdosta, bid $123,683

-- Empire Dismantlement Corporation, of New York, bid $112,160

-- Southern Allied Contract, of Valdosta, bid $218,000

Temple also pointed out that Crowe's bid did not include a 5 percent bond, which the advertisement said all bids should have.

"His bid should be voided," Temple said.

The bid was not voided because, according to a memo by City Attorney Rob Plumb, all that is needed is a bid performance which will guarantee completion of work.

In this case, the bid performance is better because there is no exchange of money, Plumb said.

The deed for the old Smith Hospital was given to Hahira as a gift Aug. 10.

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