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Council will consider new fleet maintenance RFP

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Mike Matthews, director of public safety, addresses Councilor Barry Foster at the legal committee meeting on Thursday. Councilor George Peterson looks over his packet as City Attorney Aaron Holloman and Scott Stark, director of the Roswell International Air Center, listen. (Alison Penn Photo)

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The city of Roswell’s Legal Committee has voted to send the second posting of a request for proposals (RFP) for the city’s fleet maintenance contract to full council. Councilor Barry Foster made the motion and Councilor George Peterson seconded. The measure carried unanimously on Thursday afternoon.

Responses to the original RFP, for maintenance and operations of the city’s approximately 600-vehicle fleet, were due April 24. 

In June, a group of local business owners said they felt their proposals had been unfairly rejected by the city’s evaluation committee. In May, committee recommended awarding the contract to an out-of-state company.

The full council voted in June — during a meeting at which a number of business owners shared their concerns with councilors — to give city staff time to revise the fleet maintenance RFP. The council also voted at that time to terminate an RFP for the maintenance of the fire department’s apparatuses.

City Attorney Aaron Holloman said that he, Danny Renshaw, Mike Matthews, Lupita Everett and the rest of the team in the city’s legal and purchasing departments had finished revising the fleet maintenance request for proposals. The new RFP includes a submission checklist, revised language and a new format.

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Holloman said the hope is that the new RFP will be easier to read with the changes.

Councilor Judy Stubbs, chair of the legal committee, thanked the city staff for their hard work and said she appreciated the specific changes.

Matthews, public safety director, said many changes to the scope of work had been made since the first posting and the biggest concerns — language of the RFP — were addressed. He also thanked the staff for their efforts in revising the RFP.

Stubbs said the action to revise the RFP had “nothing to do with” the original proposers’ presentations at the City Council meeting in June — but rather was about the city addressing concerns and making sure the RFP was clear on how the city wanted the fleet managed.

Peterson said he agreed with Stubbs, saying he had read over the proposal and found it to be very confusing before the June council meeting. Peterson said he approves of the RFP being streamlined and hopes the second posting will bring in some “good bids.”

Foster said “yes and no” in regard to the business owners’ response in June influencing the situation. Foster said the bid bond requirement was asking a lot of the proposers and would be quite expensive.

He said he thought that Stubbs wanted the RFP redone before the proposers spoke at the council meeting in June. However, he added that the proposers’ speeches illuminated the situation for other councilors, in his opinion.

Holloman provided the revised document and asked councilors for suggestions on how to be clearer between now and September’s full council meeting.

A liquidated damages clause was also added to the RFP, in case the contracted company fails to meet certain standards or abandons the job. This clause will allow the city to ask for a significant amount of money back in case of either event.

Holloman said the bid bond, required in the earlier posting, will not be required now and the city will ask for a letter of bondability instead. The performance bond will be decreased to $100,000 — which Holloman said was a “much smaller amount” for the bidders, but was important in case of an emergency where the city could face considerable loss.

In other committee business, Scott Stark, director of the Roswell International Air Center (RIAC), introduced Mark Bleth, the new RIAC manager, and said Bleth would now be attending legal committee meetings.

Stark also shared updates on the newly formed Airport Advisory Commission and said the commission is headed in the right direction. He said the timing and location of meetings were chosen to allow RIAC tenants to attend. Stark said the tenants seem appreciative, and the commission can’t know the tenants’ thoughts until the tenants share their them.

He also gave an update on the RIAC restaurant. Stark said it has been “slow-going” to being work for another site of Pecos Flavors Winery in the currently empty café area. He said the work should start in the next few weeks and the restaurant’s estimated completion date is the end of this year or the beginning of 2019.

Also, Stubbs said she would like to have a meeting to with the Roswell Chamber of Commerce, the Roswell-Chaves County Economic Development Center, the Hispano Chamber of Commerce, and MainStreet Roswell to lay out all of their agreements — to have a discussion on each entity’s role in collaboration with each other and the city of Roswell.

She said she wanted to work more closely with all of the organizations, and she wants this meeting to happen sometime after Labor Day.

After discussion between Stubbs and Foster, the committee and representatives agreed to change the language of the Chamber of Commerce’s agreement to read “business retention and business development” rather than “economic development.” Juanita Jennings, public affairs director, also informed the committee that the Chamber of Commerce will now be reporting its finances quarterly with an annual audit to the city.

The committee voted to not send the Chamber of Commerce’s contract to full council, but agreed to create an extension of the agreement in the meantime.

The committee also voted to hold a public hearing on a proposed ordinance to update the building code. Stubbs said an in-depth discussion on the zoning amendments, property maintenance code and the chronic nuisances ordinance will take place next month.

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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