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Posted: March 5, 2013 9:59 p.m.

Oconee Metal likely won't sue over bid

LB Recycling and Waste Service’s bid to collect recycling centers’ scrap metal and remove discarded metal from the landfill was unusual, county commissioners and county attorney Tommy Craig agreed.

LB offered to pay 9 cents per pound for metal collected for a two-year period and — here’s the unorthodox element — it promised to pay 2 percent per pound more than any other competitor’s bid. Craig said he had not encountered such a bid before, but found nothing in Georgia law or county policy to prohibit it.

The bid was approved by the county.

Oconee Metal Recovery actually offered a higher price for the metal at 9.6 cents per pound for one year. But LB’s additional 2 percent beat Oconee’s price by a fraction of a penny per pound.

Oconee owner Paul Bacon said his company accepts the decision and will not protest it.

“The county attorney made his decision so that’s that,” Bacon said. “We had the contract for about 10 years. We’ve been doing bids with the county for years and I’ve never seen anything like (the LB bid). But the county attorney researched it and it is legal,” Bacon said.

He said he was a little surprised that the county wanted a fixed price for two years given some swings in metal prices in recent years.

“Five years ago, Korea started buying a lot of steel for its building boom,” he said, remembering how scarce metal became then. China’s wild building boom also sent prices soaring at different points in the past decade.

“But with metal prices, you are pretty much always betting on what the future holds,” Bacon said.

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