Purchase photos

SUV talk drives county commission

12/10/2013

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

Ellis County commissioners approved the solicitation of bids to purchase a sport utility vehicle for Ellis County Rural Fire Director Dick Klaus at Monday's regular meeting at the Ellis County Courthouse.

In the agenda packet for Monday's meeting, it said minutes from the Nov. 18 meeting reflected discussion of purchase of a vehicle, but no vote taken to authorize seeking bids. Since that meeting, Klaus sent out bids Nov. 21, which are due Wednesday.

Ellis County Clerk Donna Maskus said after Monday's meeting she could not find in her notes a vote being taken. Commissioners review minutes of each meeting before approving them.

Notes from The Hays Daily News from the Nov. 18 meeting reflect a 3-0 vote from commissioners authorizing bids for the SUV for Klaus.

"It was discussed, but we could not find a vote to authorize it in the minutes," Ellis County Administrator Greg Sund said.

"I didn't realize it had already been advertised," Sund said.

Sund checked his notes from that meeting again this morning, and did find a motion was passed for bid of an SUV for Klaus.

Klaus solicited bids locally and from Topeka and Wichita for the SUV.

Commissioner Barbara Wasinger questioned why the bid process wasn't opened and advertised in a trade magazine or newspaper, for instance. Klaus said he would prefer a local bid win. Wasinger agreed, but said "competition for all is good for everyone."

Klaus said he has not heard back from Wichita about the bid.

Wasinger said the county might never hear back from alternate bid sources, either, but would like to have that as an option in the bid process.

"I think it has merit," Commissioner Swede Holmgren said of Wasinger's proposal.

After being contacted by the HDN this morning to inform her of a discrepancy about a vote being taken at the Nov. 18 meeting, but before Sund found the vote in his notes, Wasinger said she thought a vote had been taken at that meeting. A vote being taken at that time changes her thinking from Monday night's meeting about the process, she said.

"Obviously, because this is about what I specifically asked for, that (Klaus) follow proper procedures," Wasinger said today. "He obviously did."

Commissioners approved bids for the SUV 2-0. Commissioner Dean Haselhorst was absent.

In other business:

* Commissioners heard the monthly report from the county Extension office.

* Commissioners approved the purchase of a truck, dump box and mower/tractor for the Public Works department. I-70 Truck Repair received the bid for the truck, for the amount of $80,500; Hays Truck Equipment received the bid for the dump box for $23,150; Sellers Equipment received the bid for the mower/tractor for the amount of $94,900.

* Commissioners discussed a possible resolution concerning the county receiving a share of insurance proceeds. No action was taken.

* Commissioners approved a motion for a resolution authorizing budget transfers.

* Commissioners received updates of existing county policies for future approval.

* Commissioners approved an escrow agreement with Buckeye Wind Energy.