County assists Richmond Memorial with vehicle purchase, keeping Library Visits program on the road
With a helping hand from Genesee County, a Richmond Memorial Library program vital to reaching residents unable to make it to the Ross Street facility is able to keep on rolling.
On Wednesday, the Genesee County Legislature approved a contract with Genesee Valley Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Avon to accept a submitted bid to provide the library – as well as any other municipalities that wish to use the bid via the "piggyback clause" – access to vehicle pricing that was submitted as part of the bid.
The contract is in place for 90 days, beginning on Dec. 10.
What this means is that the library, after contacting the county’s Purchasing Department to assist in buying a new vehicle, is able to purchase a 2021 Jeep Latitude SUV to replace the 2011 van that it had been using as part of its Library Visits program.
According to the library’s website, the Library Visits program provides library services to older adults in Genesee County who are unable to visit the library. It is funded by a grant from the Muriel H. Marshall Fund for the Aging. The late Muriel Marshall was a former school librarian.
Genesee County residents at least 60 years old who are confined to their homes due to a short term or extended illness, disability, or lack of transportation may be eligible for the services of this program, which also offers rotating mixed media collections to senior housing complexes, adult daycare facilities, nursing homes, and veterans' facilities in Genesee County.
The cost of the new vehicle, which reportedly will be delivered by early March, is $13,557 -- significantly less than the retail price – and is a result of using the county’s purchasing power and trading in the van. The resolution also states that the county does not expect to use this particular contract to purchase vehicles.
"We were able to trade in the van, which was about 10 years old but it only had 10,000 miles on it, so we got $10,000 for it," Conrad said. "Add the municipal discount and the fact that we pay no tax, and we got a great deal."
Conrad said the vehicle is used a couple times a week for the Library Visits program -- traveling to group living homes and switching out material every four to six weeks -- but also could be used to carpool librarians to Nioga Library Systems headquarters in Lockport, to the annual conference in Saratoga Springs or other training opportunities wilthin the boundaries of the Western New York Library Resources Council that is based in Buffalo.
He said the plan is to either apply vinyl wrap or place a sign on the vehicle for advertising purposes.
Conrad credited Library Visits coordinator Lucine Kauffman and Batavia City School District Business Administrator Scott Rozanski for pointing him in the direction of Genesee County Purchasing Director Eve Hens.
Hens said she was happy to assist Conrad in the process.
“Bob Conrad called me because they don’t have a purchasing department, obviously, and he wasn’t really sure how to proceed with the purchase and wanted to make sure that it was done the right way – following all of the laws and procedures that are in place,” Hens said.
She said the county has advertised and issued bids for vehicle purchases in the past, with the stipulation that “while Genesee County was sponsoring the bid, we would not be the one to purchase the vehicle – it was specifically for use by the Richmond Memorial Library.”
The transaction was accomplished by using the procurement “piggyback clause,” Hens said, wording that states that a contract put into place as a result of the bid will be available for use by other municipalities with the mutual consent of the vendor and the municipality that will be using the bid.
“It also states that Genesee County will not be responsible for any contracts that are put in place using our bid,” she added.
While the “piggyback clause” calls for competitive bidding for anything over $20,000, Hens said it was wise for the library to go this route because it was “hard to tell what the cost would be up front.”
“So, I would always err on the side of caution when issuing a bid. If it’s estimated to be around $20,000, I would do the bid just to be make sure that we’re covered,” she said.
Hens said she wasn’t sure how much money the library saved, but figured it was significant because of the trade-in and the utilization of municipal pricing. This process can only be used by municipalities that receive tax revenue, which Richmond Memorial Library does through its relationship with the Batavia City School District.
She also noted that she puts the piggyback clause in all county bids to make them available for use by the towns and villages, mentioning that towns and villages use the county’s road salt and highway materials bids to secure favorable pricing.