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Elizabethtown City Council approved a major purchase Tuesday, accepting a bid from Kovatch Mobile Equipment Corp. for a custom ladder truck.
The bid was approved unanimously at $735,591, half of which will be paid upfront. The purchase comes after the city failed to receive the four bids it wanted for the custom truck, generating two instead.
The second bid was produced by Rosenberger South Dakota LLC at $698,868.
Fire Chief Mike Hulsey said a committee assembled from within the department worked on bid specifications for roughly two years and recommended the KME bid. The truck is a preferable choice, he said, because the city has established a relationship with KME and already owns three of the company’s trucks. Hulsey also prefers the KME truck because it included airbags, he said last week.
Once the contract is signed, KME will have 300 days to build the truck, Hulsey said.
“They won’t start building it until we sign the contract,” he said.
The truck is replacing the city’s current ladder unit, which is more than 20 years old, Hulsey said.
Elizabethtown budgeted roughly $350,000 for the truck’s purchase this year, according to Finance Director Steve Park. Hulsey said the city can receive a discount of $12,260 if it pays 50 percent of the cost upfront. Park said the city will allocate the remaining balance on the truck out of next year’s budget.
Councilman Marty Fulkerson said the city’s bid committee reviewed the bids and recommended KME after lengthy discussions. The committee desired a minimum of four bidders but did not want to delay the process further by seeking more proposals.
Fulkerson said the committee also reviewed the truck’s specifications to make sure they were broad enough to attract interest.
The department sent out its specifications to nine companies. Two companies declined to bid because they could not meet the specifications, according to a city memorandum. Pierce Manufacturing did not file a proposal because it failed to receive the specifications after the departure of one of its regional salesmen. Toyne Inc., meanwhile, ran into engineering problems with a new supplier for its aerial unit and could not meet the time frame requested by the city, according to the memorandum.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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