CONYERS -- Members of the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners will vote Tuesday on a $32,000 change order to a contract with Raftelis Financial Consultants Inc..
Rockdale Water Resources Director Dwight Wicks presented the request Tuesday at the board's work session. The change order calls for $32,000 in additional funding on a $100,000 rate study done by Raftelis in 2011 and 2012 for the water department. The item is included on the agenda for the board's regular meeting Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 10 a.m.
Wicks said the increased fees were due to more time required for additional rate proposals that were requested by members of the Rockdale County Water and Sewerage Authority. Wicks said his position was that the Authority, a volunteer board, represented the public and was asking for the input on behalf of the public.
Commissioners Oz Nesbitt and JaNice Van Ness objected to the increased cost for the study, which was presented to the commissioners in December. Both said the BOC should have been consulted by Wicks prior to committing to the extra expense.
"We signed off on a contract max of $100,000 and then the Water and Sewerage Authority, whether they knew it or not, incurred an extra $32,000," said Van Ness. She added that she did not intend to vote in favor of the change order next week.
Chairman Richard Oden said he was not alarmed by the cost overrun, pointing out that RWR, as an enterprise fund, has gone from an annual budget deficit of $5 million to making a small profit in 2012. When citizen volunteers are involved, such as members of the Authority, there is a greater likelihood of cost overruns, he said, because volunteers are not "content experts."
Nesbitt said volunteers' suggestions should be communicated to the paid director of a department and then reported to the Board of Commissioners.
"At the end of the day they can come up with whatever suggestions or advice they have, but it should be filtered by you," he said to Wicks.
Van Ness said Wicks should make sure administrative procedures are in place to prevent future problems with contracts.
"This is an administrative concern for me," she said.