Fuel price hike prompts Canadian County re-bid

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Canadian County Commission Chairman Jack Stewart

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

EL RENO – Rising fuel prices have prompted Canadian County Commissioners to revise a previously approved six-month bid award.

Commissioners, at their weekly meeting April 5, agreed to award a bid to Zummallen Rock & Grain for rock hauling through the end of the 2020-21 fiscal year.

Two of the three county commissioners favored hiring the El Reno vendor to haul the road material.

Six companies participated in the bidding, which County Commission Chairman Jack Stewart called “fairly tight.”

Zummallen bid 16 cents per mile for “end dumps” and 16.5 cents for “belly dumps” to haul rock to the three places where county crews get their gravel, District 2 County Commissioner Dave Anderson noted.

Emphasizing that Zummallen is “good to work with”, Stewart wanted to use another bidder that had a higher price (18 cents) but offers more dump trucks to deliver the gravel.

“I need a lot of rock on the road right now,” said the District 3 commissioner, referring to projects he has this spring.

Looking for production, Stewart pushed for the bid award to be made Monday because he wanted to “get the trucks out there.”

This new contract will only be the final few months of the current six-month bid cycle.

Before bids were opened, Stewart explained that commissioners had to re-bid their existing rock hauling contract because Zummallen “could not continue to honor” its original bid “due to an increase in fuel prices.”

Commissioners last fall awarded Zummallen a 14.75 cents-per-mile bid for rock hauling to cover the period Jan. 1 to June 30.

Canadian County District 1 Commissioner Marc Hader

District 1 Commissioner Marc Hader warned rock hauling prices will even be more next time “if fuel keeps going up.”

Hader suggested commissioners rewrite bid specifications for the next six-month bid award to compare prices for bringing the material to district yards or to job sites.

RISING JAIL POPULATION

Canadian County’s jail population has increased noticeably in recent weeks, and nobody has a definitive answer why.

“It just happens,” Commissioner Stewart said.

Undersheriff Kevin Ward reported April 5 that 254 inmates were in Canadian County custody. That includes 206 prisoners at the detention center in El Reno and 48 being housed in other county jails.

Commissioner Hader asked Ward if he had an idea when the jail “numbers would come back down.”

“I can’t put a finger on it,” the undersheriff replied. “I can’t identify what’s different.”

Other county sheriffs have not been seeing the same type of jail population hike as Canadian County, Ward added.

The Canadian County Jail, 304 N Evans, is now above capacity.

Last year, the total inmate population fell below 160 for several months.

In other business at the April 5th meeting, county commissioners approved:

  • A road use agreement with Minco Wind III, LLC that allows pre- and post-construction inspection in Canadian County.
  • Submitting a $1,584 claim through a state Ad Valorem Reimbursement Fund that provides incentives to property owners for manufacturing.
  • Advertising for bids for carpet and cove base installation at the county’s juvenile center.
  • Accepting a $1,000 “community service giveaway” donation from David Stanley Chevrolet to pay for day-to-day law enforcement activities at the county sheriff’s office.

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