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Friday, December 8, 2023

Commissioners overrule staff to reject low bidder for LakeFront TV contract

Commissioners chose to reject the low bidder and stick with Facci Bella, Inc. (FB) to continue operating the city’s television station.

LakeFront TV started in 2005 to bring public television to Leesburg as a way to air public meetings and inform the community about city operations and events. The city has contracted with Facci Bella under two long term contracts. The current contract ends on Dec. 18, so the city’s procurement division sought bids for a company to provide production services for LakeFront TV.

Three companies bid on the contract to broadcast meetings and create content for the station. The low bid of $180,000 was submitted by Akers Media Inc. and included 2,840 minutes of content. Facci Bella bid totaled $235,000 and included 3,228 minutes of content. Staff acknowledged that Facci Bella has done a commendable job growing the station, and has specific knowledge of city systems and equipment.

Staff recommended that the contract be awarded to Akers Media, Inc. as the low bidder. Commissioner Jay Connell praised the work that Facci Bella has done for the city. He said that, “If It Is not broken don’t fix it.’

Commissioner Mike Pederson spoke in favor of keeping the contract with FB as they have done a “great job.”

Commissioner Allyson Berry expressed concerns regarding if the low bidder had the equipment and creative experience to do the job.

Mayor Jimmy Burry and Commissioner Alan Reisman both praised the job that FB has done the last ten years but felt that the commission should honor the procurement division’s recommendation.

When Commissioner Reisman made a motion to approve giving the contract to Akers Media Commissioner Berry seconded the motion which failed when Pederson, Berry, and  Connell voted no. A motion was then made by Commissioner Pederson which passed with Pederson, Berry, and Connell voting yes and Mayor Burry and Commissioner Reisman voting no. Several audience members applauded the retention of Facci Bella as the operator of Lake Front TV.

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