Upshur County Administrator Willie Parker cautioned the sheriff Thursday about rushing into the purchase of four new cruisers without first checking if other dealerships could offer a better price.
Virgil Miller is looking to purchase four new cruisers when the new budget year begins on July 1. He said he is wanting to purchase four Ford Expeditions at about $27,000 per vehicle. He said that price is what is being offered by the state contract, and it is also the price being offered by Jenkins Ford on U.S. 33 in Buckhannon.
"We can buy locally and have it serviced locally," Miller said.
But Parker said because the amount exceeds the threshold required for the item to be put out for bid, he said Miller should at least check with other Ford dealerships around the state to see if they would match the state contract price or offer the vehicles at a lesser cost.
"We can still have it serviced locally," Commissioner Donnie Tenney said.
Miller contended that he should be allowed to purchase vehicles from Jenkins Ford because they were willing to match the state price.
"Technically, we are not purchasing from the state contract," Parker said. "They are willing to meet the state contract price. I don't know if anybody would make an issue out of it or not. You don't need to have a written bid. We need to have a competitive bid. If they are the same, you can go wherever you desire. The issue would be if (another dealer) would come in below the state contract price."
Miller said the cars could be delivered in August or September, provided the order is placed prior to July 20. He added that it will cost an additional $4,000 to detail and equip the new vehicles.
In other matters, the commissioners approved the hirings of Brandon Tyler Kennedy, Jessica Shayne Hardman and Melanie Groves as workers at the Upshur County Recreation Park and Pool facility.
The commissioners approved a request from the Upshur County Republican Executive Committee and the Central West Virginia Republican Women to use the courthouse plaza from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., June 20 to stage a West Virginia Day celebration.
The commissioners reappointed Joyce Harris-Thacker to the Upshur County Solid Waste Authority for a term ending June 30, 2016. Emiel Butcher, C.J. Martin, Tom O'Neil, Sam Nolte, Dave Thomas and Kathy Murray were appointed to the Upshur County Development Authority for terms ending on June 30, 2015.