ROCK FALLS – The Whiteside County Airport Board decided Thursday to lower the threshold for seeking bids for projects, a move the airport manager opposed.
The board reduced it from $20,000 to $6,000.
Mike Dowell, whose company M&M Aviation runs the airport, argued in an interview a day earlier that lowering the threshold was counterproductive. He said it would increase spending for advertising and setting of bid specifications, work that airport attorney David Murray would get.
At Thursday’s meeting, Murray said he resented the suggestion that he would make more money doing the bid specifications.
“Every time we put something out for bid, we get a better deal than we were prepared to accept,” Murray said.
Dowell, however, said he preferred going by the county guideline of $20,000, which he contended was in the best interest of taxpayers.
He also said a formal bidding process scares away businesses that would otherwise offer lower prices for their services.
Other members suggested lowering the threshold to $6,000, but allowing waivers.
Member Greg Dempsey objected.
“What’s the value of a policy if we can choose to waive it based on whatever?” he said.
The board voted 3-2 to allow waivers.