City to buy freezer for dead an­i­mal stor­age

Antelope Valley Press - - Front Page - By ALLISON GATLIN Val­ley Press Staff Writer

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.

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