The Killeen City Council accepted the highest of three bids it received for uniform services, stating the chosen vendor was “the best value for the city.”
Karlene Jessie, city purchasing manager, said Zip Cleaners, whose bid was more than $50,000 higher than the lowest bid submitted, will provide the rental and cleaning of uniforms for the city’s aviation, public works, community services and support services staff.
The city received three bids: $83,536 from G&K Services, $96,915 from Prudential Overall Supply, Inc., and Zip Cleaners’ bid of $134,212.
The city currently has a contract with Zip Cleaners for the police and fire departments, code enforcement and municipal court uniforms.
Jessie said the city has had contracts with all three vendors that submitted bids, but the one recommended by staff was the “most responsible bidder, best value for the city and (staff) did not solely focus on the lowest bid.”
Stuart McLennan, executive director of support services, said the highest bid was still $20,000 under what the city has budgeted for its 2014 fiscal year, and although Zip Cleaners’ bid is $134,000, it doesn’t necessarily mean the city will spend that much on the service.
It depends on how much city employees use the service.
Jessie said during the bidding process, city staff formed a committee to gather feedback from employees who would be affected by the contract change. She said employees using the services of the current vendors the city has contracts with gave “unsatisfactory” marks.
Jessie said the contract is for rental and cleaning and states that the vendor is responsible for wear and tear to uniforms that are of no fault of the employee and they are required to replace torn uniforms.
“(The vendor) provides the uniform and the service to keep (city staff) looking professional,” she said. “That is not currently happening. We have testimonials from employees whose uniforms have been torn. They were asked to replace them and the vendor says ‘no’ and patches them.”
Councilman Terry Clark said he was “convinced” by Jessie and McLennan’s discussion with the council to support allowing the city to enter into a contract with Zip Cleaners.
“If one of our city employees is showing up in a uniform that has been patched multiple times, it doesn’t really send a strong image,” he said. “A lot of times our citizens’ only reaction with our city government is when they’re asking for a service to be provided to them.”
The council approved, 5-2, the contract with Zip Cleaners. Councilmen Jonathan Okray and Steve Harris voted against it.
McLennan said the contract will begin in mid-October and run through 2015. He said when the contract expires the city can combine all its uniform services contracts into one, saying that it’s “in the best interest of the city.”