Best Bid Debate

By: Stan Torgerson
By: Stan Torgerson

There were two bidders for a new pumper truck for the Meridian Fire Department, American La France and Pierce.

American La France was the low bidder but Meridian fire chief Tim Miller said American La France did not meet the bid specifications and the Pierce bid was the best.

Both companies had representatives present and both were allowed to argue their respective cases. Finally, Chief Miller was called to explain his preference.

"Our recommendation to this council for the lowest and best bid would be the Pro fire equipment with the Pierce fire truck, in compliance with our specs," Miller said.

But with council president Barbara Henson not present for the meeting,
the council split 2-2.

Presiding president Bobby Smith of Ward 5 and Ward 4 councilman Jesse Palmer supported American LaFrance as the lowest bidder. Ward 1's Dr. George Thomas and Mary Perry of Ward 2 voted in favor of Pierce.

"We don't gain anything by choosing the most expensive truck we can," said assistant fire chief Sammy Foy." And your $22,000 over a 20-year period on a $400,000 fire truck is very small in my opinion when you consider what one lawsuit will cost you, but the bottom line is some of the statements that were made in here by American LaFrance were lies."

With the tie vote, the city will have to ask for new bids and the process will begin all over again.


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