For $185 more, Ridgefield buys police SUV from local dealer
RIDGEFIELD — Low bid, or shop local? The selectmen went local.
Waiving a policy to accept the lowest bid, the Board of Selectmen chose to give Ridgefield-based Pamby Motors the contract on a three-year lease of an unmarked police car.
The cost to taxpayers? An extra $185 on the more than $16,000 lease.
“Especially at a time like this, we have to support our local businesses,” Selectman Bob Hebert said.
In a public discussion during Wednesday’s meeting, the selectmen voted unanimously to pay $16,565 for a three-year lease of 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee from Pamby Motors, despite the low bid being $16,380 from Acme Auto Leasing LLC of North Haven.
“A difference of $185,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi said.
Town policy, he said, is to put purchases out to bid and go with the low bidder.
“Unless the board feels, in recognition of a major taxpayer in town, we should reconsider,” Marconi said.
The board felt that way — at least when the bids were so close.
“It’s absolutely worth spending,” Selectwoman Maureen Kozlark said of the extra $185. “We have to award to Pamby’s.”
“Not only do we have to support our local businesses, I’m on my fifth car from Pamby’s,” Selectman Sean Connelly said.
In addition to supporting a local business and substantial town taxpayer amid the difficult economic situation prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, board members said getting maintenance and service from a dealership in town would be more practical than getting if from a dealer in North Haven.