Commissioners opt for lower HVAC bid

Difference too much for Kuhn, Considine

DIXON – Commissioners chose the less expensive bid for an energy savings contract at City Hall, despite one commissioner’s argument for the alternative bid.

The City Council approved Monday a 20-year energy savings contract for heating, ventilation and air conditioning work at City Hall for $282,638 with GRP Mechanical of Bethalto.

Two bids were placed on file last week for public review: one for $317,638 with a control system in place for thermostats, and another that was approved Monday with simple programmable thermostats.

A first vote for the more costly of the two bids resulted in a tie with Commissioner of Public Property Colleen Brechon and Mayor Jim Burke voting in favor of it.

Commissioners Dennis Considine and Jeff Kuhn voted against it.

Commissioner David Blackburn was not present at the meeting.

A majority was needed to pass the bid.

A second vote for the more costly of the two bids passed as all three commissioners and the mayor voted in favor of it.

Brechon argued for the more costly bid because, she said, it was the more efficient of the two, and it would save the city money in the long run.

The contractor estimates at least $4,715 a year in savings with that system, which would allow thermostats to be locked at a certain temperature. That would ensure they are not misused or working unnecessarily when City Hall is closed, Brechon said.

“That does not take into consideration any more savings we may see,” Brechon told the City Council. “Both are more efficient, but this one takes the human element out of it.”

The $35,000 difference was too much for Kuhn and Considine. They did not see the city recouping that much in extra savings.

“I talked to a lot of people on this, who have similar systems,” Kuhn said. “I asked if it was worth the extra bang for our buck [to approve the more costly bid]. ‘Would the [lower bid] do the job?’ What they said is the [lower bid] will do the job without all the bells and whistles.”

When it came time for the second vote, Brechon said she changed her vote to be in favor of the less costly bid, because “we need to get this done.”

The project will install new insulation on the City Hall roof and replace two outdated boilers, among other work.

In other items, the City Council created a deputy fire chief position at no extra cost to the city. Restructuring how personnel is paid will allow the fire department to create the post, Fire Chief Tim Shipman said earlier this month.

Also, commissioners agreed to make changes that will give KSB Hospital more flexibility in appointing its board of directors.

To attend

The Dixon City Council is scheduled to meet again at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 29 to hear the governmental task force's recommendation regarding the city's form of government.

For an agenda for this meeting, minutes from past meetings or more information, go to www.discoverdixon.org or call 815-288-1485.

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