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Published: Wednesday, 5/20/2009

Arena contract goes to out-of-town firm


The Lucas County commissioners awarded a $538,953 contract yesterday to a Westlake, Ohio, company to install the network and switching system in the new multipurpose arena.

The measure passed 2-1 after the commissioners discussed whether the project could be awarded to a local contractor.

Logos Communications Inc., which has a full-service office in Bryan, will install a Cisco Systems Nexus 7000 in the arena, to open this fall with hockey, arena football, and concerts.

Logos was rated the lowest and best of four bidders. The others were Meyer Hill Lynch Corp., Maumee, $550,066; Analyst International Corp., Auburn Hills, Mich., $590,041, and Transtar Electric, Toledo, $807,187.

Commissioner Ben Konop, who voted no, said the county should have awarded the contract to a local firm.

"It's imperative to try to invest as many resources as we can in local people," said Mr. Konop, a Democrat running for mayor. "We've not awarded contracts to a lowest bidder before, so there's precedent."

Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak sought to delay the vote for a week but was told it could not wait and then voted yes. She said the commissioners are bound by state law to award the project to the recommended lowest and best bidder. Commission President Pete Gerken also voted yes.

Logos' president and chief executive officer, Chris Tjotjos, said in a phone interview with The Blade the company is "kind of local" to Lucas County.

"We have employees that live in Toledo," he said, adding that the company has other offices in Ohio. "We live there. We drive through there. We have other clients there as well. We feel kind of local."

He said Logos engineers collectively hold over 90 Cisco certifications.

C.J. Holley, chief information officer for Lucas County, said Logos met all the requirements of the bidding and had already installed a Cisco Nexus 7000 while Meyer Hill Lynch had not.

The system to be installed is energy-efficient and is expected to have a working life of 12 to 15 years.

It will host all of the building controls, security, audio and visual systems, data, and phone systems. It will connect Fifth Third Field and the SeaGate Centre as well, and have a backup site to provide redundancy. He said installation should begin June 15 and be completed in July.

The $105 million arena at Jefferson Avenue and Huron Street downtown is to be completed in September and open in October.

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