(Shenandoah) -- Considerable discussion over the purchase of a new city vehicle took place at Tuesday night's Shenandoah City Council meeting.
By a 4-to-1 vote, the council rejected the bid of $25,600 from Shore Motor Company of Clarinda for a 2022 Chevy Silverado for the city's water department. Council members rejected the bid after a local competitor expressed concerns over the bidletting. Doug Meyer, representing Doug Meyer Chevrolet in Shenandoah and other local communities, says he emailed the council after being informed that his company was beaten on a bid from an out-of-town business. Meyer attributed his company's higher bid to a lack of inventory at his lot.
"I think everybody knows there's a microchip shortage," said Meyer. "And, I think everybody knows we don't have any inventory. Drive by our lot--I think I was just there--there were five cars there, maybe. Inventory's impossible to get. We're only getting allocated one, two, maybe three vehicles a month to sell. On those vehicles that we're getting allocated from General Motors, we've got to make money--plain and simple. We don't make money on them, there's just no sense in even getting that vehicle."
Meyer says the lack of vehicles is making it tough for his business. He says it all comes down to where the city wants to spend its money.
"When I lived here six years ago," he said, "Mayor Hunt recommended a book called , '13 Ways to Kill Your Community.' In that book, it's kind of a sarcastic way of telling you, 'do this, and you'll kill your community.' A lot of things are, you know, shop out of town. If you're going to take all your money out of town, and we have to compete with people out of town, it's just not right."
Shenandoah Mayor Dick Hunt voiced his objections toward accepting the Shore Motor bid, saying he's always stood for buying materials from local companies. Hunt indicated he would veto the approval of the Clarinda company's bid. Councilwoman Toni Graham cast the lone dissenting vote against rejecting the bid. Except for a disparity on the cost of an alternator, Graham says the bids are "apples to apples." Graham added council members are told to "spend money wisely." That prompted an exchange with Hunt.
"I think if you took a random survey," said Graham, "probably saving $4,000 would be a matter of saving money."
"I don't believe that," Hunt replied. "They've got at least four families that live here, that work out there. I thought about that when it first came out, too. They're paying taxes. They're buying things while they're here. I think buying locally, that this is a good deal."
"I'm not disagreeing with that at all," she replied. "I just don't think that the average Joe is going to understand."
Hunt replied that residents will understand if Graham and other council members explain the situation. He added people are welcome to contact him with any questions.
In other business, the council...
---approved street signage for bicyclists and motorists for the Wabash Trace-Sportsman's Park Trailhead, with costs split between Shenandoah's Rotary Club and the city.
---set a public hearing for October 12th on the issuance of hospital revenue notes not to exceed $7 million for Shenandoah Medical Center's renovation and expansion project (with all costs paid by SMC)
---set other public hearings for October 12th on the sales of city property at 805 Southwest Road to Lukas Herold, 307 North Center Street to CP Self-Storage for $4,002, and 102 East Grant to Monroe Property Company totaling $300.
---approved a 30-day extension for Brian Palmer on a rehab contract at 809 West Summit Avenue, provided that the property is inspected.
---approved a three-month extension for David Gutierrez on a rehab contract at 208 East Sheridan Avenue
---approved the publication of a notice of city-owned lots or houses available for purchase by sealed bids.
---approved the Shenandoah Chamber and Industry Association's proposed street closures associated with Shenfest.
---approved a sewer adjustment request for 711 1/2 West Sheridan Avenue for $108.09 for August, 2021.
---approved a street closure request from J&R's Saloon for September 24th for a street dance.