For the second time, Clay County received just one bid to purchase a new ambulance.
The county submitted its first sole bid for state approval in May, but the state asked for the specs to be broadened. After doing so, Mayor Dale Reagan said interest remained low.
“We’re hoping this time the state will approve that, and we can go forward to put in our order for the new ambulance,” Reagan said. “It just prolonged us a little bit. Set us out about six to eight months.”
Reagan said the delay in the purchase does cause some concern with future grant opportunities. Reagan said the current grant must be closed out before the county can apply for more funding in the coming years.
“Usually with Community Development Block Grants, they are a pretty quick way to turn a grant around and finishing up and then opening up the door to reapply,” Reagan said. “Since this is going to be pushed out and the possibility of getting the unit has been delayed somewhat, that delays the possibility of closing out the grant. You’re probably looking at three years down the road to apply for another.”
Reagan said the state requesting a rebid for a grant funded purchase is not uncommon. Reagan said specific models or brands targeted in the bid packet likely caused this situation.
“They just want to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to submit a bid,” Reagan said. “We advertise, but with the economy and the way things are, there are not a lot of vendors that are taking on new orders, so they are not going to put in a bid knowing it will be another two or three years before they ever get a chance to do that. By that time, the cost could have went up by $50,000.”
Reagan said the sole bid for $240,000 is similar to the first. Reagan said three ambulances and one back up currently make up the ambulance fleet. The county Commission will consider the bid on July 11th.