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The Chiefland City Commission has set aside a bid protest filed by an Illinois company over a pump for the city’s wastewater operation because it came late and the product was too expensive.
Laurie Copeland, city project and finance coordinator, said the request for bids on the pump said bids could be submitted for diesel or gas-fueled pumps, that the city only intended to spend $47,000 on the pump, and the city reserved the right to waive certain specifications.
At the Dec. 8 commission meeting the bid was awarded after Randy Wilkerson, head of the city’s wastewater operations, explained that the preference was for a diesel pump demonstrated by HURCO.
Copeland explained to the commission that HURCO and Wach, which submitted the losing bid, have battled in court with HURCO winning the case and that in 2003 the company was found guilty of illegally exporting to Iran.
“I explained to them that we have the right to accept something different if it’s good.”
Copeland also said when she was contacted by company officials the complaint turned personal with the Wach’s executives saying city staff was liars and “hillbillies.”
She said she told the Wach executives that they had to submit their protest by the close of business on Dec. 23. But, she said, the bid was not posted by the date. “Basically Wach’s has only brought their decked out model,” she said, noting that it cost more than $47,000.
Commissioner Sammy Cason said, “It is sour grapes.”