The Saratoga Sun -

Airport gets snow removal equipment

Saratoga Town Council holds special meeting to accept lone bid for plow blade and broom for use at Shively Airfield


October 23, 2019

With the meetings of the Saratoga Airport Advisory Board having moved to a quarterly basis, business with Shively Airfield has come to take place in meetings of the Saratoga Town Council. During the Oct. 15 meeting of the governing body, Dave Shultz of Sage Civil Engineering came before the council to discuss bids for snow removal equipment.

As was reported previously (see “York takes flight” on page 2 of the Aug. 21 Saratoga Sun), while a loader had been procured for use by Saratoga Jet Center, it came without a plow blade or broom. At that meeting, Shultz informed the airport advisory board that he could get creative with funding to obtain a plow blade for the loader. That creative funding came from the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT).

When Shultz addressed the town council, he informed the members that the Town of Saratoga hadn’t received many bids for the broom and plow blade.

“We received only one bid from Honnen Equipment, who is also the one that was awarded the loader. The bids are significantly higher than we anticipated and, frankly, the plow itself is not the model that was desired,” said Shultz. “I don’t know why we only have the one bid. We need to kind of address that with the funding agency; WYDOT. Anytime you have one bid, they want to know why. We were on the phone with potential bidders and kind of got the feeling that were going to have at least three.”

Shultz informed the Saratoga Town Council that there was a silver lining to there being only one bidder, stating that it could give the municipality the ability to negotiate the price of the bid.

“We had estimated that the equipment was going to be between $40-45,000 and the bid came in at a little over $71,000. The broom came in about where we expected. The plow was significantly higher. If we can come to an arrangement or come to some sort of a way to get a piece of equipment that everybody’s okay with,” Shultz said. “Obviously, the only way it will go with cost is down if we start negotiating.”

Nelson asked Shultz to contact WYDOT about the Town of Saratoga’s ability to negotiate the bid as well as to contact Honnen Equipment about getting the plow blade that was requested by Saratoga Jet Center. A special town council meeting was then scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 18.

At the special town council meeting, Shultz informed the governing body via phone that he had contacted WYDOT about the ability to negotiate the bid with Honnen Equipment. He told the council that his contact was unclear on if that was allowed, but appeared to fall on the side of confirming that the town could negotiate. Shultz recommended that the Town of Saratoga consult with Tom Thompson, their legal counsel.

“We do have an agreement, in writing, from Honnen to procure the Daniels plow that Saratoga Jet Center wants and so we have a price to do that. The original bid price for the folding wing plow was $55,496.57,” said Nelson. “That was more expensive than we expected and not the plow that Bob and Aaron want. It’s not what they thought we were going to get bids on.”

As discussion continued, Nelson suggested that the Town of Saratoga accept the bid while at the same time requesting that Honnen Equipment put in a change order to procure the plow blade that was requested by Saratoga Jet Center. He added that, in a conversation with Honnen Equipment, they had agreed to replace the plow blade that was bid out for one that came in at $41,240.

Nelson made the motion to accept the bid from Honnen Equipment, contingent on a change order for negative $14,256.57 being executed simultaneously. The council voted unanimously to award the contract to Honnen Equipment.

With the change order, along with $8,000 in engineering and administrative fees, the total cost of the bid came to $65,693.43 with the town’s share coming in at $6,569.34, just over the budgeted $5,800 for snow removal equipment. Nelson assured the rest of the council that the difference could be made up using landing fees collected by the Town of Saratoga.

The next meeting of the Saratoga Town Council will be at 6 p.m. on Nov. 5 at Saratoga Town Hall.


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