Published in the Iola Register on Mar. 21, 2013.

Commission approves bid for gas line

Following a presentation from Thaniel Monaco, BG Consultants, Inc., the Concordia city commission approved the low bid from K.C. Construction Inc. for the installation of a gas utility line to the North Development.
Four bids were received for the project, with K.C. Construction, Inc. submitting the low bid of $179,499.60.
The engineer’s estimate was $284,943.50. The other bids received were from Larson Construction, Inc., $288,599; Duhling Construction Co., Inc., $248,800; and M&D Excavating, $190,823.
Monaco told the commissioners that there were a couple of discrepancies discovered in the bids, but that they had no bearing on the lowest bidder.
Commissioner Tim Parker asked how much the County was paying for the project.
City Manager Larry Uri said that Cloud County will pay half of the costs or $125,000, and that includes the total cost of construction.
Parker then asked where the money from the City was going to come from.
Uri said it would come from the utilities fund and that the city operating its own gas line would help cover the costs.
“Operating our own gas line, in time, we will be able to pay that back,” Uri said.
Monaco told the commissioners that BG Consultants recommended approving the bid from K.C. Construction, and that it would plan to be in Concordia the second week in April to start the project. He also said that BG Consultants would be preparing the contract documentation to submit.
The commission approved the bid by a vote of 5-0.
Also approved by the commission was the purchase of the materials for the gas line project.
Chad Buckley, utilities director, told the commission that the city originally had two bids for the project, but only one came through, and it was from Industrial Sales Company, Inc..
“We want to be in a position to order as soon as we possibly can,” Uri said.
Commissioner Marsha Wentz made a motion to approve the purchase of materials up to $77,000  from Industrial Sales Company, Inc., and it was approved 5-0.
The commission, following a lengthy discussion, approved on a vote of 3-2, the low bid of $55,523 from Midwest Public Risk, Independence, Mo., for the city’s casualty and liability insurance coverage.
Four bids were received the insurance coverage.
Presentations were made during the previous commission meeting by Melanie Matt, Midwest Public Risk; Tom Job, Kansas County Association Multiline Pool (KCAMP), Topeka; Steve Lindsey, Peoples Insurance (EMC), Concordia; and Connie Walenta, Kastl-Powell Agency (Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Co.), Concordia.
EMC is currently insuring the city.
The bids received along with the Midwest Public Risk bid were $74,768 from KCAMP, $106,763 from Peoples Insurance and $156,768 from Kastl-Powell Agency.
Lindsey presented the city with a list of concerns regarding the bids from Midwest Public Risk and KCAMP.
Uri went through the the list of concerns, and responses to them from Midwest Public Risk.
A memo from Uri to the commissioners stated that all of the bids were from reputable companies. The bidders had equal opportunity to evaluate the city’s insurance needs, to submit their proposals in writing, and to present their proposals to the city commission. The presenters noted certain features of their policies that could affect the overall cost of the city, but none of these items were sufficient to offset the differences in premium.
The difference between the lowest bid overall and the lowest bid by a local vendor is more than $50,000 for one year’s premium. The bids are not close enough to make local purchasing feasible while providing for effective expenditure of city funds.
“It is not an issue of service, it is an issue of money,” Uri said.
Mayor Lyle Pounds made the motion to accept the low bid from Midwest Public Rick, and it was approved on a 3-2 vote.
Parker and commissioner Charles Johnson, who had each indicated they would like to study the issue more, voted against it.
A bid from Womack Sunshine Ford, Concordia, for a pickup for the city was approved by the commission.
The bid was for a 2013 Ford F150 at a cost of $17,750, less the trade in for a 2002 Ford of $2,000, for a total cost of $15,750.
An ambulance township report was presented to the commission by Uri and Finance Director Amber Farha.
Total ambulance revenue in 2011 was $247,556.24. Total ambulance expense was $638,082.97. That leaves a deficit of $390,526.73 and a loss per ambulance run, based on 541 runs, of $721.86.
The commission was told that the city of Concordia ambulance service takes care of the east side of the county.
A total of 61 ambulance runs were made to surrounding townships at a total loss of $44,033.51.
The estimated 2013 tax rate for those townships for ambulance service is 1.56 mills.
Also during the meeting, the commission approved appointing Cathy Miller to another four-year term on the Housing Authority.