June 6, 2001
Takes issue with editorial on water tank bids
To the Editor:
I have been working for Caldwell Tanks for 30 years and am very proud to be part of such a fine company. The men and women at Caldwell Tanks build our tanks and conduct business in a straightforward manner. The way we do business has been handed down for over a hundred years. Your May 20, 2001 editorial ("A shoddy way of doing business") is very upsetting to us. Your editorial not only is misleading but also reflects opinions not based on the true facts. We really wish that you would have contacted us to find out the facts before rushing to judgment in your editorial.
In a construction project like this, the design engineer sets forth certain design and material specifications. None of those specifications were altered in any way in the bidding process. All parties who bid on the Meridian tank bid against the same set of design and material specifications.
The different bidders offered different construction methods or techniques. Construction techniques are
simply a means of building a structure. As the engineer correctly noted, the use of different construction techniques does not affect the quality of the ultimate product and certainly permits more competition in the bidding process.
Here, the construction technique at issue was the use of six-foot forms or four-foot forms. One of the other bidders typically uses six-foot forms and Caldwell Tanks uses four-foot forms. You were correct that the original bid documents contained a requirement of using six-foot forms. However, when this was pointed out to the independent consulting engineer, he freely acknowledged that this specification would not affect the quality of the product and it was waived. Waiver of non-material specifications is routine in the construction industry.
In other words, it does not make any difference whether four-foot forms or six-foot forms are used. Despite our competitor's efforts to eliminate Caldwell Tanks from the bidding process, your community leaders clearly saw through this and opened the bidding to as many responsible companies as possible. The end result for the community is a less expensive project and significant savings which can be used for other important community projects.
David L. Dues
Caldwell Tanks Louisville, Ky.
To the Editor:
As someone who appreciates hard work and devotion to duty, l'm compelled to recognize someone from your community who was recently of great assistance to me and the organizations of which I am affiliated.
Mr. Rob Seal at the Lauderdale County Agri-Center was instrumental in helping me prepare for two separate livestock shows this spring with the Southern Miniature Horse Association in March and the Dixie Texas Longhorn Association in April. He should be commended on his managerial skills, abilities and service to Lauderdale County.
JS Longhorns/Southern Grace Miniatures
Name street after former Miss America Susan Akin
I believe the city and Lauderdale County should honor our 1986 Miss America, Susan Akin, by naming 23rd Avenue in her honor. This is the street Susan's mother's business, the Dorothy Little Insurance Agency, and residence are located.
Susan Akin is a super person and achieved the greatest by being crowned Miss America. Susan let the nation know where our city was located and brought in people who had never heard of Meridian. She really won the title Miss America for our city.
We have named several streets after important people in Meridian, So why not Susan Akin? She is just important to our city, state and nation as the others.
I also believe Meridian needs a museum built somewhere close to the interstate. Artifacts of Meridian's many important people could be placed inside, including information about Susan's life history, her gown, the Miss America Crown she wore and many other things. Susan's rise to the title of Miss America 1986 would attract people off the interstate. This would be an attraction for our future generations.
If the city could not provide the money; then the Tourism Commission could ask the county or ask for private donations. Since her crown was destroyed accidentally, maybe the city could purchase a new one and donate it to Susan. I also think Susan Akin's picture should have been displayed on the interstate sign by the old Service Merchandise Store.
Meridian has never really honored Susan Akin. As a concerned citizen, I have always promoted Meridian where ever I travel. I want the best for Meridian and see her have every opportunity to grow and attract people to our town.
Jesse Barnett Jr.