Joe Achille of J & R Landscaping of Wyandotte unsuccessfully appealed to the City Council to award a grass cutting contract to a city firm instead of the lowest bidder. City officials, who allow a 10 percent leeway to give preference to local vendors, decided in this case to respect the bid process and give the business to the low cost approved supplier.
By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – The bottom line won out in Monday’s City Council decision on maintenance of outdoor facilities.
Members chose a bid from United Landscaping of Washington, Mich., which was almost $6,000 less than one from J & R Landscaping of Wyandotte.
Joe Achille of J & R tried to convince the council that its local presence was better for the city, but members instead opted for the lowest-cost bidder, citing strong references from other municipalities. Achille’s company was one of two grass cutting suppliers for the city last year, and his bid was third for this year.
He told the council that as a local vendor he could respond more quickly to city requests.
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Members also cited cost as the deciding factor in awarding a sidewalk contract to Century Cement of Riverview, the lowest-cost bidder for that work.
The 2010 sidewalk program involves very little curb work for the most part, city engineers said.
Century’s bid was more than $40,000 less than Wyandotte-based Alastra Construction, which came in sixth out of seven bidders.
Council members reluctantly agreed that saving money through a low-cost supplier was a more sound use of city resources than spending $40,000 more to keep the work in town. Currently, Wyandotte companies are given a leeway of about 10 percent to give them a hometown advantage.