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Mowery Clinic

County Rejects Loader Bids

Karen Shade - April 12, 2016 3:35 pm

saline county logo

Once again, Road and Bridge Director Gary Nash will have to request bids for a front end wheel loader.  At Tuesday’s Open Forum, Commissioners decided in a 3-1 vote to reject four bids.

R&B’s 2016 Equipment Improvement Plan included the purchase of a used (1,000 to 2,000 hours) front end wheel loader for $130,000.

  • On February 9, 2016, Nash met with Commissioners to present the Equipment Improvement Plan.
  • On February 16, Nash and Commissioners discussed a “bucket loader lease option”, noting that a 5 year lease on a bucket loader might cost $89,000.
  • On February 23, Commissioners decided to go out to bid for a new front end wheel loader, and after a period of time, possibly sell it–perhaps by internet auction.
  • On April 5, Nash presented the bids to Commissioners at another study session. Low bid was from Sellers Equipment for a Doosan DL250HL-5 for $161,585.  Other bids were from Foley Equipment for a Caterpillar 930MHL for $190,544; Victor L Phillips Company for a Case 621F for $165,590; and Murphy Tractor John Deer 544K High Lift for $173,500.
  • On April 12, Commissioners rejected the bids and instructed Nash to go back out to bid and also request information about re-sale value.

Commissioner John Price said he owned four front end wheel loaders.  He has been vocal in previous study sessions about the benefits of purchasing used, of purchasing new and of leasing loaders.  Commissioner Luci Larson stated that she relies on the expertise of other Commissioners who know more about this equipment when awarding bids.

On April 5, Price admitted he was not familiar with the Doosan loaders.  Price said he’d heard from another bidder, who was willing to set a “guaranteed buy back” price for the model bid, but did not include this on the bid documents.  Since the decision to buy a new loader was based on resale value, and since resale value for a Doosan was not known, this may have contributed to the commissioners decisions to reject the bids.

Price admitted to “micro-managing”, a frequently voiced concern from the public about this Commission.  Price said he did this in order to save the County money.

Community Corrections

Commissioners voted 4-0 to sign a 2017 Behavioral Services Grant application; this grant is one of several that will be submitted by Director Annie Grevas to the Kansas Department of Corrections.  The $250,764 grant would fund three positions (Program Provider, High Risk ISO and Recovery Specialist) and offers vouchers for other services.  This grant requests $40,000 more than last year’s grant.

Commissioners also agreed to use $7,254 in contingency funds to cover the time Public Defenders spend with Drug Court, starting immediately.  Public Defenders spend three hours a week, at an hourly rate of $62/hour, with Drug Court.  The annual cost of covering their time will be built into the 2017 County budget.

Commissioners Also:

  • Approved the purchase of a wheelchair lift for the Ag Hall at the EXPO Center. A low bid from B&K Access was accepted; part of the lift’s costs will be paid for from a grant.
  • Awarded a bid to Ritter Tile Shop for $40,786 to carpet parts of the 28th District Court. The County sent out five requests for bids and only received one back.  This prompted citizen Karen Shade to express concerns about open and free procurement, because there have been other times when only a few bids have been submitted.
  • Met with Doug McKinney, Executive Director of North Central Regional Planning Commission. McKinney discussed an opportunity for Saline County to select a second county representative to serve on the NCRP Board; he also discussed initiatives to help get locally grown produce to area markets.
  • Studied requests for action regarding the Sheriff’s Office Special Traffic Enforcement Program and from Rural Fire Department for Self Contained Breathing Apparatuses (SCBA). Formal action will be taken at next week’s Open Forum.
  • Proclaimed April 2016 Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Commissioner Dave Smith was absent.

Commissioners took a tour of local roads and bridges this afternoon.  They will attend a quarterly meeting of regional county commissioners in Clay Center Tuesday evening.


Keith Davis

April 13, 2016 at 5:47 am

I suspect that the County Commission wants some for a little bit of money, not true value. Not surprising.
Requesting a 2nd a 3rd bid is pure stubbornness.

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City of Salina