Cohasset Selectmen Question RFQ for Towing Companies

Express Towing of Braintree has a solo gig with the Town of Cohasset for the past year and local towers are not happy that they are not getting a piece of the action.

A majority of Cohasset Selectmen are also not pleased with the series of events that culminated in the town’s using one out-of-town tow company for the past year. Select Chair Fred Koed noted that a year ago the Town utilized three towing companies; he wondered what had happened.

Acting Town Manager Mike Milanoski said Express Towing told Milanoski the other two tow companies were not properly licensed.

Selectman Karen Quigley wondered why the tow companies were not put back on the active list when they became qualified.

Quigley noted that RFQ is written for a larger towing company, and specifications required would not allow smaller, local contractors to apply. She added that if it were legal to stipulate  local preference, she would prefer having several tow companies be involved.“ She said in the past years numerous tow companies were used. Also, Quigley said it was costly for car owners to have to retrieve their vehicles from an out-of-town tower.

The Acting Town Manager sent out an RFQ (Request for Qualifications) to 6 towing companies last week. When asked by Selectman Gaumer if it was Milanoski’s intent to utilize multiple tow services he said it was his intent to do so. However, the qualifications stipulated in the RFQ would not permit smaller tow companies to apply.  Click below to read the RFQ.

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Mary Snow, Administrative Assistant at the Department of Public works, said she was asked by the Public Works Superintendent Carl Sestito, on vacation this week, to attend the meeting and ask that Section 8 (e) language be removed from the RFQ.

Section 8(e) adds DPW to the mix: “The contractor shall sweep all small debris off the roadway into the gutter for later pickup by the DPW. “

Milanoski said he would not alter the contract until he heard directly from Carl Sestito, Public Works Superintendent.

Citizen Paul Davis noted that there were no specific bid items. “Usually at the end of the proposal you fill out line items, what is the proposal?”

Milanoski said it was a request for qualifications only. “There are no price requirements in that document. “

Davis said the specifications were burdensome; “It requires that the towing yard be manned 7 days a week,” he wondered why someone being ale to call someone on their cell phone would not suffice.  “We’d like some consideration for local businesses.”

Rob Ross of Cohasset, said he was also confused. He said he had written numerous letters to the Board of Selectmen over the past year and had never gotten any responses. Ross owns Scitaute Collision.

Selectmen, who were only recently made aware of the letters, wondered why it took so long for the board to get the letters.

Selectman Steve Gaumer said he was aware of Ross’s letters but “have not inserted myself into it.”

Milanoski said he put all three letters from Ross into the selectmen’s packet but did not respond to Ross himself.

Selectman Diane Kennedy said:  “We really can’t rally respond — we can only function as a deliberative body in this room; we can only respond by putting you on an agenda. But it’s something we’ve started to talk about here,” she said, and then asked the chairman to make it an agenda item for a future meeting.

“This has been going on for a year,” Ross said, adding that he made a major investment in equipment and then never got a phone call.

Milanoski said in June 2012 two companies were removed from the towing list He said the reasons he didn’t respond to Ross or get around to the RFQ is because the police chief had been suspended and there was a lot going on at that time.

Quigley noted that it is very difficult for local business people to survive. “The Town should do everything it possibly can to support them.”

“And that we do,” Milanoski said.

 

© Copyright 2013 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed
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