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NAPA Contract Remains Up In The Air

Updated: Monday, May 12 2014, 09:51 PM CDT
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- An ordinance was approved by Springfield city council on April 15th for NAPA Auto Parts to move in to the new consolidated garage. At that time, there was no bidding process because council was advised of a co-op with a government purchasing agency from another state.

It turns out that agency may not exist. Now some council members are now calling on Mayor Houston to void the contract.

Springfield's new consolidate garage. It's ready to go, but what auto parts supplier will be inside remains up in the air. Some council members are crying foul after they say they were provided with mis-information.

"I would like to see the mayor start all over. It's a lucrative contract so we gotta make sure that everyone has a chance to bid," said Alderman Joe McMenamin.

It's a contract that could generate more than $300,000 in profits. Council voted April 15th for Napa Auto Parts, but that was based on a purchasing agreement with the National Joint Powers Alliance in Minnesota.

Some Springfield Alderman say that agreement may not exist, meaning the bidding process must be open to other suppliers.

"Everyone wants to avoid wasting money, but the idea of competitive bidding is to save money. The competitive process saves money and here our administration is saying we will save money by not going through the very procedures that are structured to save the city money," said McMenamin.

"We should follow our city purchasing code which is designed to get taxpayers the lowest price either through competitive bidding or through contracts through the state joint purchasing act," said Alderman Sam Cahnman.

Although Alderman Sam Cahnman wants to see the process re-open, he's unsure if council can take any action.

Under rules set by city council Mayor Mike Houston has the next meeting after an ordinance has passed to make any changes at this point it is now too late to make any changes.

"If the contract has not been signed yet between the city and NAPA I would suggest it would be a good idea for the mayor to hold off on doing that," said Cahnman.

The Springfield City Council meets Tuesday night.. Alderman Joe McMenamin is confident that the issue will be brought up as old business.

He went on to say that the council has been looking at ways to veto the ordinance if action isn't taken by Mayor Houston.

Springfield Budget Director Bill McNarty says that opening up the bidding process will waste taxpayers money, but Springfield Alderman Frank Edwards disagrees saying that it's a risk they may have to take after being provided with false information.NAPA Contract Remains Up In The Air

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