Gov't

City Services Committee Finishing Work on Contract

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By Dave Freneaux

    The Mayor's twenty-one member committee charged with writing the new contract for City Services met Monday at the fire station to begin finalizing the new City Services contract.  During the meeting the committee worked to resolve remaining issues while thirty citizens observed, gave input and asked questions.  The two major decisions of the evening were whether to break up the contract into smaller contracts and how to handle permit fees.

    The current City Services contract is "all inclusive", meaning one company provides all contracted services.  Many feel that this approach limits duplication of overhead and yields the lowest cost.  Central currently operates approximately $1 Million in the black each year with this type of contract in place.  Another approach with merit is to take some of the services and bid them out separately in hopes of getting a better price on these smaller contracts since more companies are likely to be able to bid on these more specific and smaller pieces.  The committee's decision is to bid the contract both ways and to evaluate the overall cost of the two approaches. 

    Option 1 of the package will be "all inclusive" as it is currently, with one company providing all contracted services.  Option 2 will invite companies to bid on the same package as the "Lead Contractor" with the exception of four smaller contracts: Drainage Maintenance, Grass Cutting & Weed Control, Litter Control, and Roadway Repairs.  If a company wishes to also bid on the separate contracts, they have that option.  The "Lead Contractor" will bid on Administrative & Financial Services, Permit & Inspection Services, Planning & Zoning Services, Engineering, Stormwater Management and Code Enforcement.  Once awarded, the "Lead Contractor" will be charged with overseeing the four smaller contracts on behalf of the City.

    The second major issue decided at the meeting was how to handle permit fees.  The decision was made to designate all permit fees to be paid directly to the contractor and to make the contractor responsible for staffing the permit department according to anticipated, rising, or falling revenues.  This move effectively takes the City out of the business of managing that department and allows the economics of that business to drive staffing decisions.  The actual Permit Fees always have been, and will continue to be, set by the City Council.

 

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