How Saving Shreveport $50K for New Garbage Trucks Could Be Against the Law
If you think it's hard to buy a car these days, imagine trying to buy a garbage truck. Now imagine trying to get eighteen of them.
That's where the city of Shreveport finds itself as it continues to try to finalize a deal to purchase the hard-to-get vehicles at a decent price...and not violate the bid laws for the state of Louisiana.
Shreveport City Council's Explains How We Got Here
Let's start here, with documents directly from the Shreveport City Council's April 12 meeting:
In March of 2021 the City of Shreveport received bids for the purchase of eighteen yard packers. Hol-Mac was the low bidder with a unit price of $163,000 per vehicle. A purchase order was issued based on this price with a delivery date of 90 to 120 days. Due to supply chain issues Hol-Mac did not deliver the packer in the time frame promised.
On March 17, 2022, Hol-Mac notified the City that there would be an increase in the cost of the packers of $20,286 per unit. Hol-Mac has since reduced the unit price to $180,611 which is a unit increase of $17,611 per packer for a total increase of $316,998.
So, Why is Getting the Best Deal for Shreveport Illegal?
So what's the problem? Well, if the city takes possession of the trucks at the lesser-than-agreed-upon-cost, could they find themselves in violation of the state's bid laws? And if the council approves the deal - saving the city about $3,000 per vehicle - could each councilperson who voted to approve be in violation also?
Attorney Joe Woodley, representing the city, says yes. Questioned on the subject by Councilman John Nickelson, Woodley told the group that based on his interpretation of the statute, not only the city, but each council member who voted to buy the trucks, could be held personally liable.
Meanwhile, Shreveport is Spending $70,000 Every Month to Rent
Meanwhile, as the city and their attorney try to determine the best next move, Shreveport continues to lease 10 of the packers at a cost of $7,000 each per month.