City considers Blue Bunny proposal at sports park

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Deal would offer $10,000 over two years

By Marty Finley

With the second season set to start Friday at the Elizabethtown Sports Park, the city has landed another sponsorship for the facility.

Sports Park Director Seth Breitner recommended a concession sponsorship Monday at the council’s work session from Blue Bunny Ice Cream that would produce $10,000 over two years.

The deal would offer the city $5,000 annually and a $2 rebate on each case sold, Breitner said. The company has a right to re-negotiate the sponsorship for additional years if desired, Breitner said.

The Blue Bunny proposal, if approved next week, would join several sponsorships already landed at the park such as Pepsi, Lowe’s, Waste Management and Kentucky Proud. Breitner said sponsorships generated around $120,000 for the park last year and will produce much more over the lifetime of the contracts.

Councilman Bill Bennett asked if other companies were sought after for the sponsorship. Breitner said a request for proposal was issued for all concessions and Chicago-based Property Consulting Group has actively pursued sponsors for the park.

“The opportunity was out there for others to apply for it,” Breitner said.

The council voiced their approval of the sponsorship.

In other council business, City Engineer Scott Reynolds said Elizabethtown is ready to move forward on an engineering agreement with American Engineers for the widening of Cardinal Drive.

Reynolds said the city has targeted the work for years but had concerns about right-of-way acquisitions and how the road would access adjacent business properties, such as Hardin Memorial Hospital.

Reynolds said the contract is set at roughly $144,000, which will be reimbursed by the state. Preliminary engineering on the project already has commenced, he added.

The council also heard from Tim Morris, who offered a losing bid on yearly maintenance at the city cemetery.

Elizabethtown-based Montgomery’s Lawn Care was chosen at $2,125 per month, but Morris said he should have received the nod because he offered a lower monthly bid of $2,120.

Brian’s Mowing & Landscaping of Big Clifty offered the lowest monthly bid of $1,000, but the city discarded the proposal because it feared the bidder was unaware of the work involved.

“I think we did him a favor because he would’ve lost money,” said Finance Director Steve Park.

The other bid came from Clemons Lawn Care of Leitchfield at $2,125 per month, but the bid included a rider that accelerated the monthly cost if fuel exceeded $3.49 per gallon. Clemons had previously maintained the cemetery for years, Park said.

Councilman Marty Fulkerson, a member of the city’s bid committee, said the bid from Montgomery’s Lawn Care was chosen because the company operates inside Elizabethtown and did previous work for the city. Park said Morris’ application indicated his business was located outside the city, which has a buy local policy stipulating contracts with local companies when possible.

Morris said he felt like he did not receive a fair shake because the city failed to fully research his background and check all his references. Morris said he has done extensive work for local businesses and has the equipment to do the job.

Park said the quality of the work was never called into question. Councilman Ron Thomas, meanwhile, said the decision made was not a vindictive one.

“Sometimes the best bid is not the lowest bid,” he said.

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.