A Stephenville business is protesting a recent decision by the city.
A letter to City Administrator Mark Kaiser signed by Steve Arnold, CEO of Priority Emergency Vehicles based in Mena, Ark., and written by Daniel Feemster, vice president and general manager of the Stephenville location, called the bid evaluations by Fire Chief Jimmy Chew "false and misleading."
The letter states that Priority, a franchised dealer of Taylor Made Ambulance, Triton Ambulance Builders, Miller Coach Company and Southern Fire Service with an office on Lingleville Road, should have been awarded the bid based on several factors, including the fact it met or exceeded specification and was the lowest of the five bids submitted - $122,143.
While the city council opted to follow Chew's recommendation and approve the purchase of the ambulance from Comanche-based Professional Ambulance last week, Kaiser said Monday it has not yet been purchased.
Kaiser also said policy does allow bidders to protest awards and Priority's disagreement is being evaluated.
During last week's council meeting, Feemster argued against Chew's recommendation to an AEV ambulance from Professional Ambulance at a cost of $128,334.
"We met the specifications as required and were able to offer a less expensive option," Feemster said. "As a taxpayer, I have issues with sending money outside of the city when there is a local option available."
Meanwhile, Chew said his decision was based on the fire department's experience with the two manufacturers.
Chew said the recommendation was based on three factors including length of warranty and proximity of service facilities. Major warranty service of any kind, up to and including removal of the patient module, can be performed at their facilities in Comanche or Alvarado, according to Chew.
Feemster said there are also area maintenance professionals available to service the Taylor Made product.
But Chew said the department currently operates a 2008 AEV ambulance with almost 32,000 miles that has only required $182 in maintenance since January 2010. During the same time, a 2005 Taylor Made with 48,089 miles has required $12,420 in repairs.
Priority requested several items from the city, including maintenance records and costs for a 2001 and 2005 Taylor Made ambulance owned by the city as well as information related to 2008 and 2010 AEV ambulances.
Kaiser said all of the documentation will be provided as requested.