Much can be gained from the process of seeking competitive bids

Published 11:51 am Thursday, October 31, 2019

Earlier this week, we published a story titled “Port Commission bid process brings in lower design costs.” It detailed the commission’s journey to saving the county – and in turn local tax payers – over $390,000.

That is a substantial savings and leaves us interested in additional and potential cost-cutting opportunities should the port commission bring more projects to competitive bid.

Those savings can be applied to further development of Ceres Industrial Park, and aid in making Warren County an ideal place for new industries to locate. That in turn will create more jobs and a larger tax base — a big benefit to Warren County residents and taxpayers.

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We commend the port commission for following due diligence in questioning a higher estimate from Stantec Consulting Services. That is the engineering firm that is contracted with and does the majority of the work for the county. Their judgment in questioning the estimate is a good reminder that exploring multiple firms who offer the same service is a smart, and sometimes cost saving move.

Basic economics tell us that competition is a good thing. When firms compete with each other, consumers, or in our case, taxpayers, get the best prices, quantity and quality of goods and services. Competition can spur new ideas, new or better products and more efficient processes.

We hope this experience will bring about more competitive estimates from Stantec and other qualified estimators or bidders. We urge all our public officials to use the competitive process to ensure selection of the firm that offers the best service and credentials at the best price. Hard-earned tax dollars are too important to give away without doing so.