The Lyon County Commission gave the Road and Bridge crew the go-ahead to use Sourcewell as a purchasing option for county equipment.
Greg Haglin from Government Solutions Team and Seth Snyder for Lyon County Road and Bridge presented how using Sourcewell could benefit the county during Thursday morning’s action session at the Lyon County Courthouse.
Sourcewell is a cooperative purchasing agency that works with government agencies, schools and nonprofits along with vendors to go through the bidding process. Sourcewell contracts with national organizations for everything from office supplies to heavy equipment, which allows entities to find a contract and still work with local businesses within Sourcewell’s vendors at a discounted price.
Snyder said the county currently spends $443 per week for uniform services. Through Sourcewell, it could use the same vendor while spending only $285 per week because of the national contract.
For example, Sourcewell has a national contract with Caterpillar for heavy machinery. Lyon County, with a Sourcewell account, could work with the local dealer to furnish the equipment at the discounted price.
The ability to still shop local was one aspect that county commissioners were pleased to hear about.
“Since we are a local government, we like to work locally,” Commissioner Dan Slater said.
The Lyon County Extension Office and Emporia Public Library already have accounts with Sourcewell, as do several state agencies.
Lyon County Attorney Marc Goodman said he had looked over the Road and Bridge Department’s request to sign up for a Sourcewell account and saw no issues where the service would violate the bidding process.
“I didn’t see any violations to any state statutes,” Goodman said. “I sent an inquiry out to some of the counties who already have an account and asked their counselors about it. It was a consensus between us that there were no legal issues.”
The service is free to the county, as Sourcewell makes its money through the vendors with which it contracts. Entities with an account are also under no obligation to use a Sourcewell contracted vendor for every service or product.
“There is no obligation to use one of our vendors and there is no fee,” Haglin said. “We are government serving government.”
Commissioners commended Snyder and other members of the Road and Bridge Department for seeking out ways to cut costs while also streamlining its processes.
“People watch our budget, and they need to see you’re trying to save taxpayer money,” Commissioner Scott Briggs said.
Ryan Janzen from the Lyon County Appraiser’s Office gave commissioners an update on trends he’s seeing as his department works through the valuation process on county properties.
The numbers are still preliminary, but he said so far he is seeing a rise of about 1.4 percent on residential property, 1 percent on commercial, 6 percent on apartments and a decrease of about $12 per acre on cropland.
He said the wind farm near Reading is one new aspect that will be taken into account while determining valuation. The land that the turbines are being built on was considered agricultural use last time valuation was done, but it will now be assesses as mixed use as agricultural and commercial.
Janzen said he would update commissioners again when the process is completed and that valuation letters will be sent out soon.
“Setting values is always the worst part,” he said.
The commission also:
• Heard a presentation from LeLan Dains on behalf of the Dirty Kanza bicycle race and approved a request to close Locust Street in Americus between Fifth Street and Main Street from 6 a.m. May 29 and 2 a.m. May 30.
• Approved a request from County Election Officer Tammy Vopat to pay an invoice of $44,530 to Election Systems and Software, LLC for yearly maintenance and license renewal.
• Approved a quote from APAC-Kansas Inc., Shears Division for placing a leveling course, 1 1/2-inch overlay with Shoulder Edge Wedge on Americus Road from Road 260 to Road 290. Cost is $445,859.09, to be paid from the Special Road, Bridge Building, Machinery, etc. Fund.
• Approved a quote from Murphy Tractor and Equipment Company for a 215 HAMM AG HD 70VV Steel Drum Roller and trade in a 1998 Ingersoll Rand DD70 roller for a difference of $48,000.
• Approved a quote from Foley Equipment Company for a LYCOX Walk-n-Roll Roller Compactor and Diamond Ripper to fit the county’s 140H Caterpillar Grader for $36,390.