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Archive for Wednesday, April 8, 2009

City approves buy-local policy

The city commission adopted a buy-local policy Tuesday night that gives local businesses first-dibs on city contracts.

April 8, 2009

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A new city policy to give preference to local Lawrence businesses will benefit one local car dealership.

The City Commission unanimously adopted a buy-local policy Tuesday that would allow the city to award contracts to Lawrence businesses over out-of-town ones, even if the local bid is higher.

The difference in bids can’t be more than 1 percent or greater than $10,000. The policy wouldn’t apply to construction projects or bids worth less than $15,000.

In 2008, there weren’t any projects that would have qualified under the policy, said Jonathan Douglass, assistant to the city manager.

During Tuesday’s meeting, City Manager David Corliss said there weren’t that many projects that would fit under the policy, but pointed to the purchasing of vehicles, road salt and chemicals as ones that would.

The idea for the policy surfaced last month when city commissioners reviewed bids for about $200,000 worth of police cars. The low bid came from Shawnee Mission Ford, but Lawrence-based Laird Noller Automotive submitted a bid that was only $738 higher.

At Tuesday’s meeting and just minutes after approving the buy-local policy, the commission voted 3-2 to go with Laird Noller’s offer.

“I think we have an opportunity here to put our money where it needs to be put and that is back into the businesses in the community,” Commissioner Mike Amyx said.

The policy drew some fire at earlier meetings when some local businesses raised concerns that other communities could adopt policies that would make it more difficult for Lawrence companies to win out-of-town bids.

In other city business, the commissioners committed $75,000 to the Lawrence Douglas County Bioscience Authority for the construction and operation of a bioscience incubator on Kansas University’s West Campus.

Comments

skinny 5 years, 8 months ago

In these economic hard times we should be doing everything we can to save money, not giving it away for free. Way to go again Lawrence City Commissioners!

Stupid!

skinny 5 years, 8 months ago

In these economic hard times we should be doing everything we can to save money, not giving it away for free.

Way to go again Lawrence City Commissioners!

Stupid!

labmonkey 5 years, 8 months ago

Laird Noller sucks. Let a deserving business receive the business.

Kent Shrack 5 years, 8 months ago

Preference laws are common. The state of Oklahoma has a 5% preference law on their state work. Kansas has one that states, if you are a contractor from a state that has a preference law, you must then be low buy your states %. Kansas contractors doing Oklahoma state work must be 5% low. Oklahoma contractors that do work for the state of Kansas must be 5% low, but contractors from Missouri, which has no preference law is on a level field when competing with Kansas contractors.

BigAl 5 years, 8 months ago

Great job commissioners. This was a no-brainer. Laird Noller provides approx 100 jobs in Lawrence. They pay thousands of dollars in local taxes and give thousands to local charities and organizations. Shawnee Mission Ford does NOTHING for Lawrence.

We have to support our local businesses whenever possible. The City of Lawrence will get that $738 back several times over.

average 5 years, 8 months ago

History now, but it'd be interesting to hear what this policy would have done regarding MV Transportation and the old 'Lawrence Bus Company'.

beawolf 5 years, 8 months ago

skinny,

You do realize that that the money spent locally will re-circulate through the local economy generating 10 times more value than $738 savings? The down side, as was pointed out, is that as other communities adopt the "buy local" protectionism policies, it could adversely affect local businesses who need to rely on more than just local sales.

classclown 5 years, 8 months ago

Typically I don't bother watching the videos on this site. I'm not sure why I did now. However, the video that accompanies this article has absolutely nothing to do with this article.

Is this a common occurrence? It wouldn't surprise me in the least if it is.

urthatguy66044 5 years, 8 months ago

While I support the idea... Did we really have to go with Laird Noller? These people are some of the rudest and most incompetent I have ever had the displeasure of working with... Why doesn't the city look at the number of people they have screwed over with bad deals and shady repair jobs...? Give the money back to someone who actually deserves it and won't use it just to screw a few more of the residents of this city over... again...!

Chris Ogle 5 years, 8 months ago

Nothing but good service at Laird Noller on my end. Glad they got the local bid.

beawolf 5 years, 8 months ago

"Why doesn't the city look at the number of people they have screwed over with bad deals and shady repair jobs…?".....

Care to come up with some #'s to validate that claim? I've had nothing but good experiences at Laird Noller. Sounds like you may work for another dealership.

redmoonrising 5 years, 8 months ago

With the % guidelines in place, it makes sense for us to spend the extra $738. Wondering about the future though, when it comes time to serivce those cars. If we service where we buy, which is going to offer us the better deal down the road?

mightyquin 5 years, 8 months ago

While I wouldn't buy Ford, I agree with the policy. With the % guidelines to keep local businesses from taking advantage and trying to gouge the city it is a good idea.

beawolf 5 years, 8 months ago

"Protectionism is the exact opposite of what we need to be doing to get out of our current economic mess."

On a national scale, you are right, on a local scale it's debatable, but I would tend to say it is good for the local economy.

mightyquin 5 years, 8 months ago

oneye, go ahead and spend you money elsewhere. And when there is no money here for our streets and police and firefighters you move to Johnson or Wayandotte counties.

Linda Aikins 5 years, 8 months ago

I think oneeye is in Eudora anyway, so we can just pass rigth over it. It doesn't apply to him.

I am happy about this policy! Thank you commission!

Linda Aikins 5 years, 8 months ago

I think one eye is in Eudora anyway, so we can just pass right over it. It doesn't apply to him.

I am happy about this policy! Thank you commission!

Linda Aikins 5 years, 8 months ago

I have doulbe vision I have double vision

mightyquin 5 years, 8 months ago

I don't believe this is meant to encourage businesses to locate here. The main goal is to keep local money local and help local businesses through the rough times ahead. And I don't think this will discourage out of town businesses from bidding. As long as the % guidelines are followed, there is now reason why competitive bidding won't continue. If an out of town business really wants a sale, a one percent local advantage shouldn't stop them.

labmonkey 5 years, 8 months ago

Beawolf-

I agree with urthatguy. I had two bad experiences there when I lived in Lawrence. They overcharged me, and didn't even fix my problem. Support a dealer that treats their customers right.

geppetto 5 years, 8 months ago

Bid higher, get the contract, get an out-state to do it cheaper, reap the difference. Cha-Chin

tunahelper 5 years, 8 months ago

they should be buying Kia or Hyundai. not this worthless American crap!

urthatguy66044 5 years, 8 months ago

I have had so many bad experience with the Noller... And no, I don't work for another dealership lol, I'm not the car salesman type....

I am just here to voice my opinion like everyone else. Maybe someone that actually works there will read this and activly try and make it better!

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