ELKINS - Bids were opened by the Randolph County Commission Thursday for an aerial photography project, with companies providing cost estimates running from less than $42,000 up to more than $700,000.
County Assessor Phyllis Yokum and Office of Emergency Management Director Jim Wise asked the Commission in December to allow an aerial photography update of the county.
Five bids were received and opened Thursday. They included: a $41,649 bid by Tetra Tech of Lafayette, Calif.; a $45,390 bid from Blue Mountain Inc. of Burton; a $59,800 bid by GRW Engineering of Lexington, Ky.; a $65,000 bid from Mountain Air Services of Horner; and a $710,709 bid by Pictometry of Rochester, N.Y.
The Pictometry bid included three flights, with a cost of $220,168 for the first flight; $236,268 for the second flight; and $254,273 for the third.
"It looks like what they're offering is more detailed that what we were after," Commissioner Mike Taylor said of the Pictometry bid.
Taylor made a motion to accept the bids as received, and give them to Wise and Yokum to review in order to make a recommendation to the Commission. The motion was approved unanimously.
Commission President Chris See said the bid for the project would be awarded at the next commission meeting, slated for Feb. 6.
At the December meeting, Wise said the county had last commissioned aerial photography in 2009, from Landmark Forestry in Horner.
Also at Thursday's meeting:
Brady said a total of $14,162,909.22 was collected between January and December last year. Of that amount, $4,492,455.89 went to the county for its budget; while $5,952,251.46 went to the Randolph County Board of Education for its budget.
The school system's excess levy brought in a total of $2,664,902.19, which went to the Randolph BOE, Brady said.
Each of the county's municipalities also received funding from the taxes collected, Brady said, including $867,574.93 to Elkins, $38,076.26 to Mill Creek, $31,628.98 to Beverly, $13,364.94 to Huttonsville, $10,533.51 to Coalton, $8,747.97 to Harman and $6,665.04 to Montrose.
"I think it's a tremendous amount of workload (to collect the taxes)," Taylor said to Brady. "Compliments to your bookkeeping staff."
The next Randolph County Commission meeting will be at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 6 in the James F. Cain Courthouse Annex.