City to buy freezer for dead animal storage
CALIFORNIA CITY — The City Council approved purchase of a necessary freezer for the city’s Animal Control shelter, choosing a local vendor even though the bid was received past the deadline.
The Council unanimously approved the purchase at its Dec. 10 meeting, nearly a month after the shelter’s walk-in freezer had failed.
The Council awarded the sale and installation to ASAP for $22,500, which also was the lowest bid received of five listed in the staff report. The bid came to the city the same day as the Council meeting.
On Nov. 15, workers discovered the freezer had stopped working and animal carcasses stored in it were beginning to thaw, Interim Police
Chief Shannon Hayes said. “It’s a health hazard,” he said. A repair company diagnosed the problem, but given that the unit is more than 25 years old and had been previously repaired, it was recommended to replace it rather than undergo costly repairs, he said.
“It’s starting to deteriorate; it’s falling apart,” Hayes said.
The department had looked at replacing the freezer about 10 years ago, when the replacement cost was approximately $25,000, he said.
Hayes originally recommended the city purchase the freezer through Premier Mechanical in Keene for $24,700, which includes removal of the old unit. The company is a direct dealer for the freezers.
When Councilmember Ron Smith suggested going with ASAP, a local firm that had also submitted the lowest bid, Hayes said the bid hadn’t been received by the deadline. Because it was an urgent matter, Hayes said he had already begun discussions with Premier Mechanical, which was the only bid received a week after requests were made.
“I felt this was a time-sensitive issue, so I spoke with management and we went ahead with the bid from Premier,” he said.
Premier therefore had a headstart in preparing a unit for installation. Typically, it is a four to six week wait before it may be installed.
“We’re in a crisis mode now,” Councilmember Donald Parris said in suggesting the city choose whichever firm can provide the fastest installation time.
However, the owner of ASAP told
the Council he could have the unit ready in about a week and a half.
The city has a policy of encouraging use of local businesses, even to the point of paying slightly more, Councilmember Nick Lessenevitch said.
In addition to supporting a local firm, it will benefit the city by having someone nearby to service it, Mayor Pro Tem Gene Stump said.
The funding for this emergency purchase is taken from the General Fund reserves, which listed a balance of just over $5 million as of the December meeting.
Because the money is to come from a reserve fund, the proposal required approval from four of the five Council members in order to pass.