From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 30 - October 23, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Contracts, cop fleet discussed

by Cat Urbigkit

If there are discounts associated with buying in volume, county governments may be onto something. The Sublette County commission and sheriff's department joined the Sweetwater County Commission this week in the process of soliciting bids for 38 new vehicles needed in their territories.

The request for bids includes the purchase of 25 vehicles for Sublette County, including 16 new full-sized 4x4 crew cab pickups and nine new full-sized 4x4 utility vehicles. Bids are to be to Sublette County Clerk Mary Lankford by the end of the month, with the award to occur at the Sublette County Commission meeting on Nov. 4.

According to the request for bids: "The bid shall be awarded to the bidder who is the lowest, most responsible and best meets the specifications of each vehicle in the opinion of the Board of County Commissioners."

Sublette County Commissioners met for a full day of business on Friday in the county library's Lovatt Room. It was both a different meeting day and place than usual, because of other scheduling conflicts.

In the process of giving the commission an update on year-to-date expenditures, Lankford also noted that the contract with Eiden Construction of Marbleton, for operating the Pinedale Trash Transfer Station and hauling garbage to the sanitary landfill near Marbleton, will expire April 1, 2004. The county plans to accept bids for the contract, and County Waste Supervisor Mike McGinnis will draft a budget for the county to once again operate the facility also, giving the commissioners that option as well.

After discussing bids on various portions of the building plans for construction of a new Hi-Country Senior Citizens Center at the commission's last meeting, on Friday the commissioners voted unanimously to award bids totaling $1,608,979 for the new building. This does not include money already allocated for the foundation, structural steel and wood trusses, as well as some fixtures and landscaping. Architect Brad Winters said his estimate for total cost for the building is $2,030,000. Construction on the new center is slated to begin this week, with an August 2004 completion date.

At $2 million, the project is still 10-percent over the estimated budget, Waters said, adding that he doubted that cost savings to that extent could be achieved. Some cost savings are expected from the estimated $36,000 cost for light fixtures and the $30,000 for the audio/visual system.

Waters also asked the commission for time to address complaints aired both in a letter at the commission's last meeting (in which he was not in attendance), which originated with Hi-Country's building committee.

Waters said he was "quite astounded" to read the building committee's letter. "Basically I see no basis for what's in the letter," Waters said, adding that the letter didn't help to establish a good foundation for any future relationship between his firm and the building committee. He said most of what was in the letter had already been addressed anyway.

Building committee members expressed their frustration for delays in the planning process for the building project, with Nylla Kunard explaining: "We were getting quite frustrated with it, because we couldn't get the questions answered ... We're not being unreasonable to try to push this, after three years."

Sublette County Commission Chairman Gordon Johnston urged both parties to improve their communication.

Commissioner Bill Cramer, noting that since the building is now designed and work is about to begin, questioned whether there was a need for the building committee to continue, at least until the furnishings and finishings were to be chosen.

Waters responded: "It's imperative the building committee stay involved. My plea is that we talk to each other."

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