Letter: Local bids

February 9, 2013


To the editor:

An out-of-town moving company moved the Lawrence Public Library! Why in the world would a city-owned project of this magnitude be given to a Lenexa firm? Surely, there are local moving companies who could have capably completed this temporary move to the former Borders store.

My understanding is that the architectural firm of Gould Evans only contacted six movers to bid on the project. I know for a fact that one of Lawrence’s oldest, homegrown moving companies, which has moved museums and other large facilities, was not even contacted. In the end, our tax dollars and employment opportunities went to a firm in Johnson County.

An article in the Feb. 1 Journal-World about the proposed new rec center discussed the fact that a public outcry marked a reversal of the controversial proposal to limit the number of companies that could bid on the project. Perhaps Lawrence residents simply were unaware that the bidding process for the library move was so restricted.

It is hard for me to believe those who voted for a new, expanded library in Lawrence envisioned people outside the city reaping monetary benefits from this move or that a bidding process would be so limited. I should imagine these taxpayers also assumed that all of the local moving companies would be given a chance to throw their hats in the ring. Perhaps none of these Lawrence companies could have won the competitive bid, but we’ll never know, will we?


Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 3 months ago

There is a huge labor pool at the homeless shelter. Walk in there with jobs for them to do and I'll bet the majority of them scatter like someone cut loose a beer fart. There are plenty of people in town that are not doing anything except consuming resources that the people who work are paying for. Imagine the self esteem these leeches on society would own from doing a fine job.

buffalo63 5 years, 3 months ago

Was/Is anyone in City Hall overseeing the bidding and awarding of the contracts for the library project or for that matter any city project? Is there any openness to these procedures, contracts/agreements?

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 3 months ago

Few people at the shelter have moving trucks or the know how needed to move something as huge as the public library. I am sure the pros don't want to be telling the walk on's what to do every few minutes.

A move of this magnitude is best left to the pros who know what they are doing. I know where you are coming from but there are a lot of jobs that you can't just walk in and start doing.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 3 months ago

How freeking hard is it to put books in boxes and keep them in order? Moving that library requires no more than entry level skills. A group of 8th graders could do it at a fraction of the cost of a moving company.

FlintlockRifle 5 years, 3 months ago

Really good question there letter writer, anybody from city have an answer????

Ken Lassman 5 years, 3 months ago

I remember when I was in junior high me and my friends helped a bunch of others move the library books from the old Carnegie library to the new location a couple of blocks away, with us using a Western Flyer wagon to pull the boxes. It was hard work, but me and my fellow child laborers had great fun and, as I recall I even got a little food. No doubt the lawyers would be all over that these days, but to tell you the truth, we're not talking rocket science here and to say that local folks weren't picked or that even homeless folks wouldn't have been able to do it is just ridiculous.

Or better yet, some scout troops, fraternities, sororities, church groups could have pitched in like they've done to clean up after a KU basketball game and made some money for their group.

Too bad this opportunity was missed.

colicole81 5 years, 3 months ago

Thank you for writing this letter. It's about time that people start raising a fuss about Lawrence dollars being sent to KC and Topeka! My family owns a local business. We also have many friends that own local businesses. It is quite common for the City of Lawrence and other long time Lawrence establishments to contract with outside companies without ever giving Lawrence businesses the chance to bid. As a community we must demand that this practice come to an end. I'm not saying Lawrence businesses should get the job no matter the cost. Competition is good. I am saying that we should be given the opportunity to compete. After all we are the ones that can provide jobs to other Lawrencians and we are the ones who will put money back into the community.

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