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Bid To Gain Township Signal Contract Worked

SANATOGA PA – Lower Pottsgrove has ended a years-long contractual relationship with a vendor, which the township Board of Commissioners readily agreed had provided satisfactory service, because the price it offered for continuing the agreement during 2018 was 74-percent higher than that of a competitor whose bid was accepted.

For next year’s maintenance of township traffic signals, Telco Inc. of Reading PA is out and Signal Service Inc. of West Chester PA is in, following a 3-1 board vote.

Maintenance needed by the township isn’t complicated, but it is time-sensitive. When a traffic light or other signaling device stops working, it must be repaired quickly and efficiently. For driver and pedestrian safety, township Manager Ed Wagner has explained in the past, the township depends on the vendor’s electrical skills.

Since 2007, that vendor has been Telco. Its proposed price for the 2018 contract was $4,290. A well known rival, Signal Service, supplied the township with a far lower bid: $1,120. Wagner, during the board’s Sept. 21 meeting, said Signal Service recently changed ownership and was purposely looking to interest new clients. Its bid was “an attempt to gain business,” he suggested.

It worked, too.

Although commissioners said they weren’t familiar with the West Chester company, township Solicitor Charles Garner said it enjoyed “a good reputation” among other municipalities with which he works. Signal Service also was determined to be the lowest responsible bidder, having provided the best price for the work defined by the township to be performed. While it could reject all bids, and ask vendors to submit new ones, Garner observed, the outcome might be unchanged.

The sole objection came from board President Bruce Foltz, himself a trained electrician. He acknowledged he preferred the vendor he knew, Telco, over one he didn’t, even though taxpayers would save money. He was outvoted by his colleagues, commissioners Ray Lopez, Earl Swavely, and Robert Mohollen. Vice President Stephen Klotz was absent and did not vote.

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Sept. 21 meeting)

Photo from Google Images

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