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Although Commissioners had already awarded bid No. 5-13-14 on rural fire trucks for Hardesty and Yarbrough Fire Departments, misinformation led them to change their decision and to start again with the bidding process.
â€śWe awarded this bid to Weis Fire and Safety with information from the Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Commission,â€ť said TXCO Commission Chairman, Jack Strain. â€śThey said in order to sell vehicles in Oklahoma, you had to have a license from their agency to do so; and Weis Fire had a license, but Watts Welding did not have one. So, at the advice of the District Attorney, we awarded that bid to Weis Fire and Safety.â€ť
Strain went on to explain that later, they found out that what they were told was misinformation, and that they did not have to have a license for adding accessories and equipment.
â€śSo, with the advice of the District Attorney, he advised that we rescind that bid,â€ť said Strain.
The motion passed to rescind the bid and then they discussed what to do next.
Both Yarbrough and Hardesty fire chiefs expressed to commissioners at one point that they would like to add some things and make changes to what they wanted, so Commissioners discussed starting over and adding what the fire departments desire, and rebidding the fire apparatus.
Strain said there are a lot of changes to the original specs - over 10 percent increase of the cost of the apparatus. He said that the District Attorney thought that with that much of a change, then a rebid was necessary.
He also said that this time around, two separate specs for the fire departments would be needed instead of one bid for both of them.
A representative from Watts Welding was present at the meeting to discuss their side of the issue.
Watts was low bid the first time the bid was sent out, and they feel that rebidding the apparatus puts them at an extreme disadvantage as they were over $16,000 lower on bidding than Weis the first time around, and now this gives Weis an opportunity to lower their bid to suit the awarding process.
Commissioners decided that a rebid is the only fair way to go about adding the changes that both fire departments are requesting. Commissioner Ted Keeling suggested that with the rebid, Watts provide the fire departments with a demo vehicle or something to look at to represent their company and what they can do for those in Texas County as the fire chiefs had never seen their product before the bidding process began.
With the rebid, Keeling expressed that although this may give Weis the opportunity to lower their bid, that does not necessarily mean they will still be awarded the bid the second time around, and that the lowest bid is not always going to be the one awarded, as it is really important that the fire chiefs decide which company can offer them the best quality product by what they have seen and what specs show in regards to what they desire.
Commissioners voted to reconsider bids on rural firetrucks for Hardesty and Yarbrough Fire Departments and voted to reject all current bids and rebid the fire apparatus.
Each department will have time to specify changes and everything they believe needs to be done before bids are open once again.