Custodians canned after discussion ... ‘Scrooge,’ and all that

After agreeing unanimously on a series of contracts and agreements worth about $5 million, the Mesa County Commission split sharply on Monday over how to award an $80,000 janitorial contract.

Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland noted that the high bidder for the contract, Varsity Contractors Inc., is the current provider of janitorial services for the county offices in the old Mesa County Courthouse.

Varsity’s bid, however, came in at $5 a month more than its competitor, Carnation Building Services.

Not enough, Rowland said, to oust Varsity, especially at the holiday season.

“I don’t think even Scrooge would do that,” Rowland said, noting that awarding the contract to the low bidder would result in yuletide layoffs and difficulty for the current cleaning staff.

A low bid, however, is a low bid, said the other two commissioners, Steve Acquafresca and Craig Meis.

Carnation also was offering additional hours that Acquafresca said made its bid more valuable.

Not so, Rowland retorted. The important issue was whether the bidder could do what it promised and the result should be “outcome-based,” Rowland said.

Varsity already has shown it can do the job, Rowland said.

Meis, having been on the other side of the bidding process, noted that it’s important to uphold the process and award the contract to the low bidder, “even with the fear of being labeled a Scrooge at the Christmas holidays.”

Acquafresca and Meis voted to award the job to Carnation; Rowland to Varsity.

Varsity still has the janitorial services contract at the Mesa County Justice Center, as well as a $5,000 contract to clean the county Parks and Facilities Department Office next year, which the commissioners also awarded on Monday.


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