A slate of new computers and server upgrades in Peachtree City government offices will be financed over the next five years, along with a new rescue truck for the fire department and three new dump trucks for the public works department.
Also in the five-year financing plan are a patrol motorcycle for the police department and an “infield finisher” to help prepare sports fields.
The new computers along with various network and server upgrades account for more than $462,000. The rescue truck will cost $195,200 and the dump trucks will cost about $272,000.
The police motorcycle will set the city back $32,726.
The computer work that will be funded includes $426,000 in equipment and network upgrades that created a stir in April when it was revealed that city staff proposed to avoid a bidding/request for proposal process to instead use South Carolina-based VC3 as a sole vendor for $472,909. Staff based that recommendation on the fact that VC3 had conducted the city’s technology analysis previously and thus had detailed information that would allow it to achieve a cost savings no other company could provide.
The resulting citizen outcry was noted by city council members who forced the work and equipment to go through the request for proposal process, which is similar to that of a straight bid process.
Surprisingly, VC3 managed to lower its price by $46,000 from its original quote in the no-bid scenario to the price it quoted in the RFP process, which turned out to be the lowest bid as well.
The RFP process did result in VC3 being underbid on a service contract to provide information technology services. VC3 initially proposed a $221,712 annual contract for those services, but the Presidio firm was able to undercut that amount with an annual contract price of $134,946.
Putting that contract up for competition saved the city a total of $260,000 over the three-year life of the deal.
The RFP process allows the city to avoid using price as the sole measure of selecting a vendor. Instead, the RFP process allows the city to rank vendors based on a number of criteria including experience, service and previous similar projects, although pricing almost always gets some “weight” in the grading system.