7/08/2010Posted by MJ
...Passuite met with the Council last week to discuss two bids received on the city’s latest call for a pumper truck. Churchville submitted the more expensive bid, for $530,000, while Gorman Emergency Vehicles of Elma offered to build a truck for $450,000.
Passuite endorsed Churchville’s bid, saying it was the only one that met all of the requirements outlined in the bid specifications. Gorman Emergency Vehicles offered a lower price but also a number of “exceptions,” or alternative versions of truck features demanded in the specifications. Then Passuite turned up the pressure on the Council by noting a $247,000 grant the city recently received for a pumper truck would be in jeopardy if it didn’t make a deal with a vendor by July 16. The granting entity, Federal Emergency Management Agency, set a series of “benchmarks,” or deadlines for steps in the process of acquiring a truck, he said.
The pressure tactic didn’t sit well with Chapman. He told the Council on Wednesday that, over the past week, he spent about 20 hours poring over the bid specifications and talking to truck vendors and a FEMA official about the situation. He claims several vendors told him the specifications were written by Churchville, and in such a way that no other vendor could meet them as fully.
For instance, Chapman said, the specifications call for a Hercules foam unit. Hercules is a brand trademarked by Pierce fire apparatus — of which Churchville Fire Equipment is the regional dealer.
“These are proprietary specs; other suppliers won’t bid on them,” Chapman said. “These specs did not give a fair playing field (to) other bidders.”...
I thought the whole point of the current re-bidding was to make the specifications more generic. It appears that was not done and we are right back where we started the last time the purchase was denied.