County Offers "Preference" to Local Bidders
POSTED: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 7:08pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 7:39pm
El Paso — Manager Rick Kenly is showing off the Police Interceptor at the Casa Ford Fleet lot on Paisano. It unleashes 288 horsepower and will go 130 without much effort. .It's built exclusively for law enforcement agencies. Recently Casa placed a bid to sell 60 of the Interceptors, and in total 83 vehicles to the county. They'd all go the Sheriffs office where many units now have 150-thousand miles on them.
But when the bids came back, Casa's offer for the Interceptor came in at 26,850 a piece, about 500 dollars than the low bidder, Caldwell Country Ford. Never heard of Caldwell Country Ford?That's because its about 700 miles from here near Bryan/College Station.
That 500 dollar per SUV difference is real money. It makes Caldwell Country's bid 30-thousand dollars less.. but it begs the question...when the the county awards a two millilin dollar contrtact so far away, El Paso will never see that money again. Wouldnt it be best to accept a local bid that's slightly higher?
this week Commissioner Sergio Lewis helped stall the big SUV contract just as Commissioners Court was ready to award it to Caldwell Country. "We passd a policy on Monday that provides local preference on certain purchases"
His point is that if a dealershipo like Casa Ford got the two million isnetad, it wouild pay their 200 employees who turn around and spend that money going to local restaurants, buying and maintaining their own cars, filling up with local gasoline. In short, supporting other el paso business
Lewis says, "It puts the money back into our own town, it stimulates the economy, the local economy, and even if we spend a little bit more, it goes into the economy."
Kenly is guardedly optimistic now that the contract is still not settled. "And if it does go to Caldwell, they have no relation to the county or the city...that money all goes out of town and i would rather it stay here and support the local businesses"