By Lasca Randels
WARSAW — Sealed bids for three police vehicles were opened during the Warsaw Board of Works and Safety meeting held Friday, May 7.
The first bid, from Kerlin Motors of Silver Lake, was for a total amount of $100,712.16 for the three vehicles, at an individual unit price of $33,570.72. The second bid, from Rice Ford of Warsaw, was for a total of $102,096.96, at an individual unit price of $34,032.32.
Police Chief Scott Whitaker recommended awarding the bid to the lowest bidder, Kerlin Motors, and asked that this be a tentative agreement in the event that the vehicles are not readily available. Whitaker said he is unsure if Kerlin has the vehicles on their lot at this time and if not, what the wait time would be until they become available.
“Once we contact Kerlin and find out what that timeline will be, we may have to come back and solicit bids for a different type of vehicle,” Whitaker said.
Thallemer inquired if there may be availability through the second bidder, with Whitaker responding that Rice Ford has informed them that they have similar vehicles available but not the vehicles defined in the agreement.
“If we’re not certain of availability, is it wise to make a move on this?” Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer asked.
Whitaker explained that the global semiconductor chip shortage is resulting in difficulty with vehicles being manufactured.
“What we don’t know is if Kerlin has them on their lot,” City Engineer James Emans said. “What the chief is saying is if they’re not on the lot and we’re at an unknown delivery date, we’re not going to award to anybody. The second bidder has offered an alternate vehicle and they have two on their lot, but I don’t know how we accept those without at least engaging with Kerlin to find out does he have these cars.”
After some discussion between Mayor Thallemer, Whitaker, Emans, City Attorney Scott Reust and board members, it was agreed that it would be best to take the matter under advisement and allow Whitaker time to gather more information as far as availability and/or estimated timeline for delivery of the vehicles.
The Board approved a request by Warsaw Police Captain Joel Beam to apply for a State Homeland Security Grant for the purchase of 45 Viking VM5000 series 800 Mhz mobile dash radios at a cost of $2,233 each.
This is due to the county upgrading its communications system to 800 Mhz.
The grant is capped at $150,000 and partial funding may be granted.
Beam also received approval to accept a S.A.V.E. grant award and participate in the traffic grant program.
In March, Beam was given approval for WPD to apply for the grant. The WPD received notice that the Kosciusko County Traffic Safety Partnership has been approved to receive the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration grant funding.
This program pays overtime to officers to enforce school bus stop arm violations.
The KC Traffic Safety Partnership was awarded $20,200 and those funds will be distributed to law enforcement agencies throughout the county. WPD’s portion of the funds will be approximately $3,700.
The federal grant monies are administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and locally by the Town of Winona Lake.
In other news:
- Board of Works meetings will return to a start time of 10:30 a.m. starting June 4.
- The next regular meeting will be 11:15 a.m. on May 21.