The Tellico Village Property Owners Association Board of Directors approved Jan. 23 the purchase of $224,829 from the amenity reserve fund for kitchen equipment at the new Toqua clubhouse.

A bid from TriMark was selected despite a bid from Katom coming in lower at $208,042.

“We are not recommending the low bid,” Parker Owen, chief financial officer, said. “Katom was the low bidder, but they were noncompliant regarding our equipment specifications. TriMark did comply with the bid specs, and they offered an additional year of warranty. Andy (Fox) went through a line-by-line item in great detail to try to get an apples-to-apples comparison and at the end of it all concluded that TriMark was the better value and recommends that as the purchase.”

The price comes in slightly above the budgeted $220,000, which is included in the total $2.4 million clubhouse project.

During the meeting, Owen said he planned to bring large spending projects related to the clubhouse construction before the board for approval.

“This is approved as part of the overall clubhouse plan, but because of the magnitude of this purchase, and in the name of transparency, I did want to bring this back to the board for approval of this project,” he said.

Steve Schneider, board member, said the board would still need to approve each part of the project along the way since the board’s vote in December only approved overall project funding and not specific purchases.

The discussion between Schneider and Owen continued as Owen provided the board with a slide during his presentation showing the capital project plan for 2019, the vast majority of which has already been authorized.

“Here we are coming up to the end of January, and we have authorized roughly 80 percent of the capital plan,” Owen said.

Just $913,300 is left to be authorized, with $300,000 scheduled for roof and interior repairs at the Wellness Center.

“There’s not much more capital to be approved this year, and I’ve sent the word out to department heads that unbudgeted projects will not be viewed favorably,” Owen said.

Schneider pointed out that a line item showing $253,267 authorized for remaining costs on the Toqua clubhouse was not accurate.

Construction costs were approved at nearly $70,000 less than the $2 million budgeted, which was then shifted into other costs, which should not have been done, Schneider said.

“We haven’t authorized that spending yet,” Schneider said. “We’ve given you project approval.”

Additional costs should come before the board in hopes of coming in with the project below the budgeted amount rather than assuming the entirety of the approved $2.4 million will be spent, he said.

“We are not going to overrun this project,” Owen said. “... I do think it’s important that I keep you apprised of that.”