BY STARRLA CRAY
WINSTED, MN Winsted officials recently discovered that the bill for the city’s new street sweeper is $22,537 more than agreed upon.
“That’s not a small amount of money,” Council Member Max Fasching commented at the July 21 work session.
The original quote from MacQueen Equipment Group was for $174, 083 in April 2014.
Public Works Supervisor Dave Meyer said he was told by the MacQueen sales representative that the price quote was valid for one year. As a result, the purchase was placed on the agenda for the March 4, 2015 council meeting.
To lock in the price, the company requested a signed contract from the city.
Meyer said Clay Wilfahrt, who was the city administrator at the time, told Meyer he took care of the paperwork electronically.
Before approval at the March meeting, Meyer said the MacQueen sales rep called and said they did not have a signed contract. The sales rep sent over a new copy, and Meyer signed it, assuming that the price had not changed.
Later, Meyer examined the document and realized that the price was much higher than planned. When he confronted the sales rep, he was told that the contract had lapsed, and the price had increased.
“They expire every four months,” Mayor Steve Stotko said. “Us thinking it was a year was not true.”
Fasching commented that $22,000 is a steep price increase in that amount of time.
Meyer said the sales rep told him the increase is due to the government’s requirements for exhaust emissions.
“It’s constantly changing to meet federal regulations,” Stotko explained.
Meyer added that MacQueen is the only dealer in a five-state area that sells street sweepers to cities.
Winsted employees were not able to find proof that Wilfahrt signed and sent the original contract electronically.
The council agreed to have the city’s records re-checked in an attempt to determine if the contract was sent to MacQueen.
The new price of $193,057 is valid until the end of August.