Bid process fails to lure local businesses
Bid openings for a vehicle and pest control products at the Carbon County commissioners meeting on April 15 apparently brought surprise to many people in the room when the items popped up on the agenda last Wednesday.
The first item to appear on the roster during the meeting was a bid the commission had placed with the new car dealers in the county to purchase a 2009 sports utility vehicle for the county assessor's office.
When asked to open the bids for the SUV, deputy county clerk Alexis Horsley told the commission there were no proposals to open.
When an agenda item for weed and mosquito control chemicals appeared later in the meeting, no local bidders had submitted proposals for the items.
"I have to wonder what is going on here," said Commissioner Mike Milovich. "The local businesses seem to not want our business."
Asked if county employees had been sure the local businesses received the bids, the commissioners got clear answers from them that they had been sure local businesses had received the bid material. In fact one county employee stated that the SUV bids had been hand carried to the car dealers.
Department managers were instructed to go ahead with the process, despite the lack of local interest. For the SUV bid they were told to get prices and work with the clerks office on the purchase. The chemical bids, all from outside the area will be evaluated by Mike Johnson who is manager over the weed and mosquito control for the county. He will suggest to the commission what can be purchased at the best price from the four bids, all from the Wasatch Front, that were received.
In another matter of purchasing, the county also decided to use a contractor to not only supply but to launch the fireworks for the Independence Day celebration at the Carbon County Fairgrounds this summer. Based on information that the commissioners got from both Rhonda Peterson, county fairgrounds manager and Paul Bedont, the fire chief for the Price Fire Department which has launched the fireworks for the past few years, the decision was made to give a contract to Fireworks West.
"Last year, we spent about $5,000 on fireworks for the show and they have given us a proposal for between $5,000 to $6,000 to do the whole show themselves," explained Peterso. "In the past, we have needed some help from the various fireworks companies concerning extra mortars and technical help and this company has been very willing to provide it."
Bedont told the commission that, when doing proposals for the show, Fireworks West had been the most helpful of the companies they talked with.
"Based on everything I have seen I would prefer we use them," said Bedont.
Commissioners indicated that going to a contractor would also be a benefit to the county because, based on the contract the company would sign to perform the show, the private firm would also take over the liability for all that is entailed in the launching of the fireworks.
Peterson also said that this year the county intends on getting a carnival to go along with the rest of the fair that is being held the end of July through the first part of August.
"I think it will add a lot to the fair to have a carnival along with the fair at the fairgrounds," she said. "We contacted a number of them and found one that has open dates during that time and is willing to come."
The one that Peterson suggested be allowed to come to town will charge the county nothing for being there.
"They will make their money off the rides and the concessions on their mid-way," she said.
The commission, which was short Commissioner John Jones due to the fact he was in meetings in St. George, went ahead and okayed both the fireworks company and to allow the carnival to be set up at the fair.