The Pulaski County Commissioners this week explained their reasoning behind choosing a bid that was more than twice the cost of another bid for masonry repairs in the courthouse tower. David Zeltwanger, owner of DK and Sons, LLC, asked the commissioners to explain why they chose a $16,828.75 bid over his bid of just $7450.
Commissioner Ken Boswell explained that the winning bidder, Kuiper Masonry, was chosen partly because Jim Kuiper, its president, attended the commissioners meeting on Feb. 20 and toured the tower with the commissioners, explaining the work that would be done. Boswell said they appreciate the time it took out of the vendor’s day to explain the process step-by-step.
Zeltwanger said he felt the commissioners “dropped the ball” on accepting the more-expensive bid and said the other bidders didn’t address the historic nature of the building. Zeltwanger said he supplied a cornucopia of information with his bid, including a spec sheet and information on what materials would be used.
The commissioners said they would like to re-work the way the bidding process is done. Bids should arrive sealed, Boswell said, and all information in the packet should be opened at the same time at a public meeting. It would be ideal for the bidders to attend the opening of the bids to explain themselves and answer any questions the commissioners may have.