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City wants 'local' defined for bidding

November 27, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

Hagerstown elected officials want to set an official policy clarifying that they will show preference to local firms even if they aren't the low bidder so long as the cost difference isn't great.

The percentage of the cost difference and definition of "local" need to be decided, officials said.

On Tuesday, the council voted 4-1 to buy three pickup trucks from Sharrett Inc., of Hagerstown, rather than low bidder Keystone Ford of Greencastle, Pa.

Sharrett's bid for the City Light trucks was $159 higher than Keystone's $35,043 bid.

Councilman J. Wallace McClure voted against the contract, saying an official policy for local preference needs to be set first.

Purchasing Manager Dave White said a disclaimer is given to bidders that the city has the right to do what's in the best interest of the city.

Councilwoman Susan Saum-Wicklein said she wants Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II to create a committee to develop the new bid policy.

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The council voted 5-0 to buy a Ford Explorer for the sewer department from a Baltimore dealership despite Keystone Ford bidding the same amount, $21,740.

Water Pollution Control Department Manager Rick Thomas said the tires on the Explorer from Norris Ford in Baltimore were better than the tires offered from Keystone Ford in Greencastle, Pa.

White said bid rules give preference to a local Maryland bidder over an out-of-state bidder in the event of a tie.

Councilman Lewis C. Metzner said the bid was an example of why "local" needs to be defined since Greencastle is closer to Hagerstown.

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