A newly seated Iola City Council agreed to buy locally, even if it will cost the city a bit more in the long run.
At issue was renewing the city’s contract to purchase bulk fuel for Iola’s vehicle fleet and other equipment.
Competing bids from Hampel Oil, which is based in Iola, and Le Roy Co-op, sparked a brief discussion amongst Council members Monday.
By comparing “apples to apples,” City Administrator Sid Fleming noted the Hampel bid sets an average of 13.3 cent-per-gallon surcharge on the gasoline and diesel. Le Roy Co-op, for comparison, offered up the fuel surcharge for an average of 12.308 cents per gallon.
The surcharge difference, which covers transportation costs and the distributors’ profit margins, equates to about 8 percent, Fleming said.
The city’s purchasing policy allows for the city to opt for a local bid if it’s within 7 percent of the low bid, Fleming noted, prompting him to recommend the Le Roy Co-op bid..
However, such a calculation does not include the cost of the fuel, noted Councilman Ron Ballard. By looking at the full cost, estimated at about $120,000 a year, the difference would equate to about $400, or about a one-third of a percent.
With that in mind, the Council voted 7-0 to go with the Hampel bid.
COUNCIL members agreed to a joint venture with USD 257 to purchase new bleachers for Riverside Park’s Diamond 3, the largest baseball field in the park, and where the grandstands have been closed to the public since last spring.
Cracked and rotted wood seats have been removed, leaving only the metal skeleton in place.
Heartland Seating, Shawnee, will outfit the grandstand with aluminum bleachers at a cost of $37,745.
The vote passed, 5-2, with Aaron Franklin and Bob Shaughnessy opposed.
Franklin explained he was in favor of getting the new bleachers, but did not want to obligate the city for the full cost, in the event the school district decided against the purchase.
(The Council didn’t learn until afterward that the USD 257 school board had already approved paying its share earlier in the evening.)
As an aside, the bleachers are separate from an endeavor spearheaded by Iolan Donna Houser to purchase new seats for the football stadium at Riverside Park from the same vendor. Houser is seeking a $10,000 match to pair up with $10,000 from the school district to purchase bleachers for the football stadium from the same vendor. (See related story on B1.)
CONDEMNATION hearings will be scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 26 for dilapidated homes at 3 W. Neosho St., 322 South St. and 426 N. Third St.