Water department contract moves forward


A controversial $12 million, no-bid Water Services Department contract moved out of the city council finance committee Wednesday on a 2-1 vote.

The full council is to hear the case for and against the contract tomorrow at a business session.

The water department is recommending West Monroe Partners LLC, headquartered in Chicago, for the contract because of its expertise in a wide range of activities, said Terry Leeds, water services director.

The contract calls for work over two years that includes software upgrades, utility metering and billing process review, customer service training, billing metrics and more.

Without bids, asked Councilman John Sharp, “How do we know there aren’t other companies that could do similar services and how do we know this is the best price from that company?”

Not putting out such things to bid, Sharp said, takes the city down a slippery slope.

Councilman Dick Davis said he supports the process used so far and the staff’s determination that this is the best firm.

Councilman Michael Brooks joined Davis in a do pass recommendation for the contract, with Sharp voting against it.

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