Routine Berne purchase gets a little tricky

    What was intended to be the routine purchase of a new vehicle for the city police department is proving slightly more problematic than anticipated for Berne City Council.
    Council members on Monday evening wrestled with three bids obtained by Police Chief Tim Taylor for the department's planned purchase of a 2013 Ford Utility Vehicle. It wasn't the bids themselves that presented a quandary for city officials, but rather it was the length of time in which those bids would be valid that concerned city officials and bogged down the process.
    The three quotes delivered by Taylor included prices of $25,980 from Moser Motors; $26,233 from Courtesy Ford; and $31,360 through the state of Indiana's government purchasing program.
    While council members were anxious to accept Moser's low bid, a condition of the Berne Ford dealer's quote stated that the price listed was contingent upon when the vehicle is ordered. Taylor said he was under the impression that if the vehicle was ordered at the current time it would be delivered later this year, when the 2013 models roll off the assembly line.
    Clerk-treasurer Gwen Maller, however, said that because funding for the police vehicle is coming from the city's 2013 budget, delivery must take place after the first of the year.
    "Quotes are normally good for 30 days," said City Attorney Jim Beitler.
    After a lengthy debate on how to proceed with the proposed purchase, the council eventually decided to table the bids until it could be determined when the police SUV could be ordered for delivery in 2013 and if Moser Motor's quote would still be valid at a later date.